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Ask Buachaill Your Own Question
Buachaill
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 13553
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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Do you have any knowledge of the rights of a patient and

Customer Question

Hi...Do you have any knowledge of the rights of a patient and their families when the person has been sectioned (taken against their will) under the Irish Mental Health Act? My sister is in hospital against her will since Wed and I'm trying yo find out ourctoghts on trying to get this revoked
JA: Where is your sister? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Apologies for typos...Dublin Ireland
JA: What steps has she taken so far?
Customer: Myself and herself told the psychiatrist who assessed her within 24 hrs of arriving to the hospital that we don't think this is in her best interest right now. I also shared this with another psychiatrist who was o ensuring Michelle at the weekend and have been trying to get in touch with Mental Health Advocacy group here
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: She has been unwell for many years with Anorexia, borderline personality disorder and recently diagnosed with Autism too...She's 33 years old
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 10 days ago.

Hello, and thank you for your question. I am your Expert and I will provide the answer you require.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
ThanksCustomer
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I don't have the funds to do a call right now...Can we continue this way?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 10 days ago.

1.  A patient is only allowed to be sectioned in Ireland under the Mental Health Acts if they are a danger to themselves or to others.  Once admitted to the mental hospital, a patient is entitled to ask for  a Mental Health Tribunal to determine whether they have been lawfully committed or not.  So, your sister should seek to have a Mental Health Tribunal appointed to determine whether she is lawfully committed or not.  She has a right to have a Mental Health Tribunal within 21 days of being admitted to hospital.  Your sister is also entitled to legal representation at this Tribunal.  So, your sister should seek to have a legal representative appointed to assist her.  This legal representative will advise her on the way forward in dealing with the admission to the Mental Hospital.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 10 days ago.

2.  Text message is fine.  There is no need for a telephone call.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I'm aware of the Tribunal...Thanks...Do you mean she should seek a solicitor of her own outside of the appointed lawyer that forms part of the Tribunal?Also do we as her family have a right to be heard by the doctors treating her now if we have something to say?Can we demand answers if they're not giving them to us?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 10 days ago.

3.  What your sister should seek now is to have a legal representative appointed to assist her and to meet this legal representative for a consultation.  The legal representative is free, so your sister should not worry about the cost.  She should meet with her legal representative and prepare for a Mental Health Tribunal to determine whether she can be released.  Be aware that your sister's odds of getting discharged from the Mental Hospital are good, so long as she is receiving treatment for her mental illness.  So, it is vital for your sister getting discharged from the Mental Hospital that she goes along with the course of treatment which has been recommended to her by the hospital. She needs to show that the reason why she was sectioned no longer applies and that she should be released.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Ok thanksDo you know who we should contact do find her a solicitor?...Do you mean free legal aid for a solicitor?Also do you know how we contact the Tribunal representative? I.e what body/organisation organises that?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 10 days ago.

4.  Members of your sister's family can attend and speak at the Mental Health Tribunal.  So, if you or other members of your family wish to speak in support of your sister at the Tribunal, this is possible.   Additionally, if you have concerns about her treatment, you should ensure your sister consents to allowing details of her treatment to be released to her next of kin.  So, in this way your family will become familiar with the treatment she is receiving.  As well, should your sister consent to the release of patient data, you and your family should seek to meet with the doctors treating your sister and find out the course of treatment she is receiving and have some input into how this is being carried out.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Ok thank you.If doctors are not listening or not willing to discuss why they are doing certain things (happening already) do my sister and us, her family, have a legal right to have a say in it?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 10 days ago.

5.  In the Mental Hospital, there will be someone appointed to deal with issues surrounding the holding of a Mental Health Tribunal.  So, you should speak with the staff at the hospital to see who is designated to deal with the appointment of legal representatives.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Buachaill replied 10 days ago.

6.  Yourself and your family are entitled to have an input into treatment so long as your sister consents.  So, you should seek to consent of your sister to attend the doctor's meeting which will take place weekly at which treatment decisions in relation to your sister will be made.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thanks for your help. That's all for now.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 10 days ago.

7. If you require clarification or if you wish to share additional information, I will  be happy to assist further in the resolution of your question.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thanks
Expert:  Buachaill replied 10 days ago.

8.  Glad to have been of assistance. I hope you have success in getting the release of your sister.