The compulsory assessment process
Step 6: The second period of assessment and treatment
What are my rights during this second period of treatment?
As the patient, your rights during the second period of assessment and treatment are the same as during the first (see above in this section, “Step 4: The first period of assessment and treatment”). For example:
- you do not have the right to refuse treatment, but you can apply to have your condition reviewed
- the patient rights set out in the Mental Health Act apply (see in this chapter “Your rights as a mental health patient”)
- you have the right to have access to a lawyer and all other relevant rights in the New Zealand Bill of Rights (see in this chapter “Your rights as a mental health patient”)
- you have the right to seek a judicial inquiry to look at whether you are being illegally detained
- you have a separate right to apply to a High Court judge for what’s called a “writ of habeas corpus” – this is a long-established type of legal action you can use if you believe the police or other officials are holding you illegally (see “‘Judicial inquiry’: Going to the High Court” in this chapter)
- you can be given leave if you are being treated in hospital
- you must be released from compulsory treatment if at any stage you are no longer considered to have a mental disorder.
What happens if I refuse treatment?
If you refuse to receive or attend treatment or leave hospital without permission, the responsible clinician can take steps to detain you (including asking the police for help).