Journal article

Electroconvulsive Therapy Without Consent: The Influence of Human Rights Law

Bernadette McSherry

Journal of Law and Medicine | Thomson Reuters | Published : 2019


The use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is highly regulated across Australia. Its use on those under compulsory mental health treatment orders remains controversial and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel and Inhuman Treatment or Punishment has called for a ban on its nonconsensual use. Mental health tribunals must consider whether or not the person concerned has capacity to consent to ECT and there have been different understandings of just what capacity means in this regard. This column discusses the influence of human rights law and a recent decision by Justice Bell of the Supreme Court of Victoria setting a low threshold for a person’s capacity to consent ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers