Should the definition of 'mental disorder' under the Mental Health Act 1983 encompass autism, for the purpose of compulsory detention?
To be sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA), an individual must meet the definition of ‘mental disorder’ as per s.1(2). Despite the scarcity in academic scholarship concerning autism within the scope of the Act , the ‘mental disorder’ definition has been considered ludicrously broad . This paper seeks to highlight that the inclusion of autism under the MHA, results in discriminatory detention based on autism-related behaviour; therefore, the removal of autism from the MHA is necessary.
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