The expert and the patient”: a discourse analysis of the house of commons’ debates regarding the 2007 Mental Health Act

Journal article


Kent, T., Cooke, A. and Marsh, I. 2020. The expert and the patient”: a discourse analysis of the house of commons’ debates regarding the 2007 Mental Health Act. Journal of Mental Health. https://doi.org/10.1080/09638237.2020.1818706
AuthorsKent, T., Cooke, A. and Marsh, I.
Abstract

Background
The Mental Health Act 1983 was amended in 2007. This legislation appears to be predicated on the assumption that an entity of “mental disorder” exists and that people who are designated mentally disordered require medical treatment, administered by force if necessary.

Aims
To explore the ways in which mental disorder is constructed and the possible practical effects of these constructions in the House of Commons’ debates regarding the Mental Health Act 2007.

Method
Verbatim transcripts from the House of Commons debates on the Mental Health Act were studied through a discourse analysis.

Results
Two primary discursive constructions were identified: “The Expert” and “The Patient.”

Conclusion
Mental disorder and associated roles, such as “The Expert,” were constructed through particular selective rhetoric, which taken together, made particular psychiatric practices and the need for legislation, such as compulsory detention, seem normal, and necessary.

KeywordsMental disorder; Mental illness; Discourse analysis; Mental Health Act; Social and political issues
Year2020
JournalJournal of Mental Health
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN0963-8237
1360-0567
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/09638237.2020.1818706
Official URLhttp://doi.org/10.1080/09638237.2020.1818706
Publication dates
Online15 Sep 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted28 Jul 2020
Deposited29 Oct 2020
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8w936/the-expert-and-the-patient-a-discourse-analysis-of-the-house-of-commons-debates-regarding-the-2007-mental-health-act

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