Ethics and Law on Physical Restraint

Ethics and Law on Physical Restraint

  • Submitted By: hayley21
  • Date Submitted: 01/10/2009 6:50 AM
  • Category: Psychology
  • Words: 310
  • Page: 2
  • Views: 1645

discussion of ethics and laws on physical resThis essay will discuss the legal and ethical views surrounding restraint in mental health care settings. It will define what restraint is, the different restraints that can be used and how they are justified by law. In addition to this ethical issues will be discussed and how they relate/ link to different laws.

The Mental Health Act (1983) dictates that restraint can be defined as placing a person under control when necessary so as to prevent serious bodily harm to the patient or to another person only by the minimal use of such force. Minimal force is not a generic statement but is specific to the individual patient and it is the responsibility of the members of the clinical team to assess both the mental and physical condition of each patient. This in turn will enable staff to determine the type of minimum restraint necessary to prevent the patient causing harm to themselves or others.

There are many different types of restraint that include: physical restraint whereby a person may be held down by staff using force, mechanical restraint which involves using equipment to restrict a persons movement (for example being strapped down to a bed) and environmental restraint whereby a person maybe locked in a seclusion room. Restraint can also be chemical when medication is given to you either by mouth or by needle (injection).


It is often argued that restraint is only lawful when a rationale is given for any restraint and that all other interventions have been used to avoid using this technique. There are many laws or civil laws that involve restraint, this assignment will focus on the Mental Capacity Act (2005), the Human Rights Act (1998, 2007) and the Mental Health Act (1983) as they point out the various regulations for restraint.

traint and how they relate

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