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Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

53Definition of " relative " and " nearest relative "

(1)For the purposes of this section, " relative " means any of the following, that is to say—

(a)spouse;

(b)child;

(c)father or mother;

(d)brother or sister ;

(e)grandparent;

(f)grandchild;

(g)uncle or aunt;

(h)nephew or niece ;

(2)In deducing relationships for the purposes of this section, an illegitimate person shall be treated as the legitimate child of his mother.

(3)In this Act, subject to the provisions of this section and to the following provisions of this Part of this Act, the " nearest relative " means the person first listed in subsection (1) of this section who is caring for the patient, or was so caring immediately before the admission of the patient to a hospital or his reception into guardianship, failing whom the person first so listed, brothers and sisters of the whole blood being preferred to brothers and sisters of the half-blood, and the elder or eldest of two or more relatives listed in any paragraph of that subsection being preferred to the other or others of those relatives, regardless of sex.

(4)Where the person who, under subsection (3) of this section, would be the nearest relative of a patient—

(a)in the case of a patient ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, is not so resident; or

(b)being the husband or wife of the patient, is permanently separated from the patient, either by agreement or under an order of a court, or has deserted or has been deserted by the patient for a period and the spouse concerned is still in desertion ; or

(c)not being the husband, wife, father, or mother of the patient, is for the time being under 18 years of age,

the nearest relative of the patient shall be ascertained without regard to that person.

(5)In this section " spouse " includes a person who is living with the patient as if he or she were the husband or wife of the patient, as the case may be (or, if the patient is for the time being an in-patient in a hospital, was so living until the patient was admitted), and has been or had been so living for a period of not less than 6 months; but a person shall not be treated by virtue of this subsection as the nearest relative of a married patient unless the husband or wife of the patient is disregarded by virtue of paragraph (b) of subsection (4) of this section.

(6)A person, other than a relative, with whom the patient ordinarily resides (or, if the patient is for the time being an inpatient in a hospital, last ordinarily resided before he was admitted), and with whom he has or had been ordinarily residing for a period of not less than five years, shall be treated for the purposes of this Part of this Act as if he were a relative but—

(a)shall be treated for the purposes of subsection (3) of this section as if mentioned last in subsection (1) of this section; and

(b)shall not be treated by virtue of this subsection as the nearest relative of a married patient unless the husband or wife of the patient is disregarded by virtue of paragraph (b) of subsection (4) of this section.

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