Year: 1998 Source: New Zealand Medical Journal, v.111, no.1069, (July 10, 1998), p.255-258 SIEC No: 19980887

This article describes a case of deliberate self-harm to illustrate answers to commonly asked questions about ethical & legal difficulties in the management of these patients. A case is made for the treatment of such patients against their will under common law unless the use of the mental health act is clearly indicated. The Privacy Act appears to prohibit informing families about an episode of deliberate self-harm if the patient refuses consent – clarification of “imminent threat” is needed.