The ethical and legal dilemmas paramedics face when managing a mental health patient

Samantha May
January 2017

This article looks into the current difficulties many UK paramedics face when trying to manage patients presenting with a mental health condition in a safe and respectful manner; particularly when the patient requires some form of treatment but refuses this against medical advice. By utilising a reflective format, the article explores some of the laws surrounding treatment without consent and how these may aid or hinder a paramedics' ability to provide good quality care to patients in these situations. Confusions surrounding said laws have been extracted from the case report and discussed in more generic terms in order to be more readily applicable to other similar cases. In doing so, the article attempts to provide a clearer format of understanding of the laws and management of these situations, both for the benefit of future patients and the emergency services alike.

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