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Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

Sections 28 and 29 – Attendance requirements

An attendance requirement is a requirement to attend at a particular place at particular times or intervals for treatment that would, or might be, treatment with serious consequences. “Treatment with serious consequences” has the same meaning as that in section 21.

The effect of section 28 is that unless an authorisation has been granted in respect of such a requirement (and any other relevant conditions under Part 2 met), it cannot be lawfully imposed on P unless the situation is an emergency. In other words, D will not be protected from liability under section 9. Any act done to ensure that P complies with the requirement will also not be lawful unless the requirement itself has been authorised. The criteria for authorisation are set out in paragraph 11 of Schedule 1.

Section 28 also requires that a further safeguard is met before the requirement can be lawfully imposed: the “receipt of treatment condition”. To meet this condition, D must reasonably believe that failure to impose the requirement would be more likely than not to result in P not receiving the treatment. This condition also applies to any act done to ensure that P complies with a requirement of this type.

Section 29 provides that where a requirement to attend for certain treatment has been authorised and imposed but it subsequently becomes apparent to the medical practitioner that any one of the conditions in subsection (2) is no longer met, the requirement must be revoked and another requirement cannot be imposed under the same authorisation.

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