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R (Manns) v London North and East MHRT [1999] EWHC 497 (Admin)

A Tribunal had been entitled to find that there was an enduring mental illness based on symptoms before transfer to hospital and that it was asymptomatic because of a response to medication; this entitled it to reject an opinion in favour of discharge which was based on the view that there was no enduring illness. [MHLR.]

MHLR

The summary below has been supplied by Kris Gledhill, Editor of the Mental Health Law Reports. The full report can be purchased from Southside Online Publishing (if there is a "file not found" error, it means this particular report is not yet available online). More similar case summaries from the year 1999 are available here: MHLR 1999.

The rationality of a Tribunal concluding that a patient had a continuous mental illness rather than transient episodes; the adequacy of its reasons in light of the existence of a contrary medical view - R v Mental Health Review Tribunal, London North and East ex p Manns [1999] MHLR 101

Points Arising: A Tribunal had been entitled to find that there was an enduring mental illness based on symptoms before transfer to hospital and that it was asymptomatic because of a response to medication; this entitled it to reject an opinion in favour of discharge which was based on the view that there was no enduring illness.

Facts and Outcome: M was imprisoned but transferred to hospital under s47 Mental Health Act 1983 in March 1998, towards the end of his sentence; he had been displaying psychotic symptoms, and in November 1997 a Dr Vermeulen diagnosed him with paranoid psychosis. He had had previous episodes of mental illness in 1991 and 1994. M remained in hospital as if detained under s37 of the Act at the end of the sentence. A Tribunal sitting in October 1998 upheld his detention, concluding that he was mentally ill despite the absence of symptoms since some 3 weeks after transfer; it preferred the evidence of the treating psychiatrist, Dr Payne, and his Senior House Officer that M had schizophrenia rather than that of an independent psychiatrist, Dr Burke, whose report recommended release, expressing the view that he suffered a mood disorder only; the Tribunal accepted that the psychotic symptoms before transfer and his response to medication indicated that he had a mental illness. The decision was upheld in judicial review proceedings on the basis that it was open to the Tribunal to find that M had a continuing mental illness that was asymptomatic because of medication (in light of the symptoms displayed before transfer and the response to medication); and that the reasons for rejecting the opinion of Dr Burke were adequate in light of its conclusion that there was a continuing mental illness.

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