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Communtity Law Manual | Mental health | Step 6: The second period of assessment and treatment

The compulsory assessment process

Step 6: The second period of assessment and treatment

What are my rights during this second period of treatment?

Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992, s 13

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 “Reviews and appeals / ‘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).

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