Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1531919
 


 



Anorexia: A Role for Law in Therapy?


Terry Carney


University of Sydney - Faculty of Law

January 5, 2010

Psychiatry Psychology and Law, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 41-59, 2009
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/05

Abstract:     
Anorexia nervosa poses particular challenges for medicine, for ethics and human rights, and for the law. These challenges are emblematic of wider dilemmas across mental health and adult guardianship law and its administration. They arise both in public law (legislation and tribunals), as well as in private planning (e.g. advance directives) and indeed also within civil society (extra-legal or ‘informal’ family and private arranging). It is suggested that those challenges are heightened by shrinkage in the role of the state, including services and public resources, under the guise of neoliberal governance and the ‘new public management’. Many of these public policy dilemmas are complex, finely balanced, and thus difficult to resolve with much conviction. This paper argues that there is some role for law in authorising coercive interventions on an ‘emergency’, life-saving basis in acute instances of severe anorexia nervosa, along with a wider role for adult guardianship orders as the preferred initial measure when intervention is required. While the law may be creatively reformed (or administered) to facilitate realising positive rights such as access to needed treatment and quality services, it is argued that the role of law in policing the legislatively-determined boundary between voluntary and involuntary detention and/or treatment remains its most critical contribution. It is suggested that only lip-service is paid to the discharge of this task at present, because insufficient time or resources are available to the review tribunals undertaking this work. Addressing such under-resourcing is posited as the most pressing and most immediate challenge in anorexia nervosa cases, as it is in mental heath and substitute decision-making systems generally.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 33

Keywords: anorexia nervosa, coercion, ethics, mental health, adult guardianship

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K32

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: January 6, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Carney, Terry, Anorexia: A Role for Law in Therapy? (January 5, 2010). Psychiatry Psychology and Law, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 41-59, 2009; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/05. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1531919

Contact Information

Terry Carney (Contact Author)
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law ( email )
Faculty of Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 730
Downloads: 91
Download Rank: 172,133

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo5 in 0.343 seconds