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MHA 1983 s57

Mental Health Act 1983
(as amended)

Law as at 19/11/11 unless otherwise stated under "Amendments" heading

Part IV contents

56, 57, 58, 58A, 59, 60, 61, 62, 62A, 63, 64

All Parts

I, II, III, IV, 4A, V, VI, VIII, IX, X, Schedules

For details, see Compulsory treatment.

This section applies to

  • any surgical operation for destroying brain tissue or for destroying the functioning of brain tissue (s57(1)(a)), and
  • the surgical implantation of hormones for the purpose of reducing male sexual drive (Regulation 16).

Changes made by Mental Health Act 2007

Related cases

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See also

[The chapter/paragraph numbers which appear below (if any) refer to the 2008 versions of the Code of Practice and Reference Guide.]


Treatment requiring consent and a second opinion

57.—(1) This section applies to the following forms of medical treatment for mental disorder—

(a) any surgical operation for destroying brain tissue or for destroying the functioning of brain tissue; and
(b) such other forms of treatment as may be specified for the purposes of this section by regulations made by the Secretary of State.

(2) Subject to section 62 below, a patient shall not be given any form of treatment to which this section applies unless he has consented to it and—

(a) a registered medical practitioner appointed for the purposes of this Part of this Act by [the regulatory authority][1] (not being the [responsible clinician (if there is one) or the person in charge of the treatment in question][2]) and two other persons appointed for the purposes of this paragraph by [the regulatory authority][1] (not being registered medical practitioners) have certified in writing that the patient is capable of understanding the nature, purpose and likely effects of the treatment in question and has consented to it; and
(b) the registered medical practitioner referred to in paragraph (a) above has certified in writing that [it is appropriate for the treatment to be given.][2]

(3) Before giving a certificate under subsection (2)(b) above the registered medical practitioner concerned shall consult two other persons who have been professionally concerned with the patient’s medical treatment [but, of those persons—

(a) one shall be a nurse and the other shall be neither a nurse nor a registered medical practitioner; and
(b) neither shall be the responsible clinician (if there is one) or the person in charge of the treatment in question.][2]

(4) Before making any regulations for the purpose of this section the Secretary of State shall consult such bodies as appear to him to be concerned.


External links

Owen Bowcott, 'Human rights groups call for end to surgical castration of sex offenders' (Guardian, 22/2/12). This article relates to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture's call for voluntary surgical castration in Germany to be discontinued. In the UK only voluntary chemical castration is permitted, under s57 MHA 1983.

Council of Europe, 'Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on Germany' (press release, 22/2/12)