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The Times + Mental Health Act 1983ConsentComment
The TimesMental Health Act 1983 - England and Wales

Neurosurgery for Mental Disorder is covered by section 57 of the Mental Health Act 1983, which covers all patients, whether voluntary or detained under another section of the Act (sectioned). Under section 57, neurosurgery can be given only if all three of the following requirements are met:

  • You consent to the treatment.
  • second opinion appointed doctor (SOAD) and two other people appointed by the Care Quality Commission in England or the Healthcare Inspectorate of Wales certify that you have the capacity to consent and have done so.
  • The SOAD also certifies that it is appropriate for you to receive the treatment.

Your consent must be given free from undue pressure and with sufficient knowledge of the purpose, likelihood of success, risks and alternatives of the treatment.

Could it ever be performed without my consent?
  • No. In England and Wales, NMD cannot be performed without your consent, even if you lack the capacity to consent. The Mental Capacity Act may not be used to authorise a treatment which comes under section 57 of the Mental Health Act.
Consent to NMD | Mind, the mental health charity
CommentIf Lena had been section it's possible she would still be with us to day

The evidence we have suggests that it was impossible (based on the state of Lena's mental health at the time) for Lena to make an informed choice yet the surgery went ahead anyway and to date the name of the surgery has never been made public. Yet they have nothing to hide.

A threat of suicide does not justify surgery, it would have justified sectioning Lena under the appropriate sections of the Mental Health Act.

If Lena had been section then the surgical procedure Neurosurgery for Mental Disorder (NMD) could not have been done as there are set rules on when the surgical procedure can be carried out, one of the key points is that the patient must be able to make an informed choice. Something that an individual that is sectioned can not legally do.

Once Lena claimed she would kill herself It can not be claimed that her mental heath was such that she could make an informed choice.

It has been stated that her medical team believed she would kill herself so why then did they not take the correct action and get her sectioned sounds like they neglected the needs of their patient by not doing so and had their own reasons for wanting to go ahead with the unnamed surgery which I believed was a form of Neurosurgery for Mental Disorder (NMD).

I am sure the terms of section 57 of the Mental Health Act 1983 for England and Wales was broken.

Also see comments on the Mental Health Act 1983 - England and Wales made in this websites Lena Zavaroni's biography section.