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Some ethical tradeoffs in mental health legislation and practice

Nikhil Govind

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2012.064


An examination of the intersection of legal and medical discourses, particularly in the realm of mental health legislation, provides a rich opportunity to clarify fundamental ethical conflicts. This essay studies one such legal discourse, the draft amendments to the Mental Health Act (1987), to demonstrate that the realm of ethical decision-making is constrained not only by pragmatic administrative, training and financial issues but also by the very contradictions that are necessarily at the heart of any ethically conducted project, however well intentioned and reasoned.

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