Essential Mental Health Law: A Guide to the Revised Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Books (Book reviews)
Author: Mandelstam, Michael
Pub Date: 04/01/2011
Publication: Name: British Journal of Occupational Therapy Publisher: College of Occupational Therapists Ltd. Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 College of Occupational Therapists Ltd. ISSN: 0308-0226
Issue: Date: April, 2011 Source Volume: 74 Source Issue: 4
Topic: NamedWork: Essential Mental Health Law: A Guide to the Revised Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (Nonfiction work)
Persons: Reviewee: Maden, Anthony; Spencer-Lane, Tim
Accession Number: 254827358
Full Text: ESSENTIAL MENTAL HEALTH LAW: A GUIDE TO THE REVISED MENTAL HEALTH ACT AND THE MENTAL CAPACITY ACT 2005. Anthony Maden and Tim Spencer-Lane. Hammersmith Press, 2010. 24.99 [pounds sterling]. 229 pp. ISBN 978-1-905140-29-9

The Mental Health Act 1983 is a substantial piece of legislation. Add to that the associated, voluminous legal case law and, at least to the uninitiated, you have a daunting prospect; and this is even before tacking on the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

This book, by Anthony Maden and Tim Spencer-Lane, is called Essential Mental Health Law, and the first word indicates the nature of this volume. It is about the bare bones, and with so many colourful and confusing garments of legal clothing fluttering about in this area of the law, such an approach is invaluable.

The book is well laid out, with clear and helpful headings spelling out the main parts of the Mental Health Act in 12 chapters, and then the Mental Capacity Act in two chapters at the end of the book. Open the book at any page and, at a glance, you cannot but help grasp the key points. Browse on a few pages and, before you know it, you are beginning to piece together more substantial parts of the jigsaw which this legislation makes up.

In my view, this book will be useful to those knowing little about these areas of law--but also to readers with some knowledge already but grateful for a quick and ready reminder. What it is not, and is not intended to be, is a deep work of reference. However, even the best of us can get lost sometimes in large volumes, and so we need both, the great and the small.

We should therefore be grateful to the two authors for giving us a tool to help us avoid that notorious pitfall: of not seeing the wood for the trees. This reviewing publication suggested I might wish, at my discretion, to return the volume once I had reviewed it. However, I shall be keeping it on my shelf!

Michael Mandelstam, Independent Legal Trainer, Sudbury, Suffolk.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.