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Section 3 — Meaning of "mental Disorder" in the 1984 Act

Part of Mental Health (Public Safety and Appeals) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 2 – in the Scottish Parliament at 5:00 pm on 8th September 1999.

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Photo of Richard Simpson Richard Simpson Labour 5:00 pm, 8th September 1999

I, too, have some sympathy with amendment 28 moved by Mr Matheson, but our problem is that we are trying to do something specific and limited. The members who support the SNP amendment and others are trying to move everything forward to 1999 from 1984 instead of considering the parts that we need to amend to achieve our focused objective.

I have a dilemma. When the Millan committee considers the issue, it will need to investigate this aspect in detail and with extreme care, but it is not necessary for us to amend the bill in the way suggested by the amendment. I am unhappy with the terms that are used in the amendment. It is unnecessary and goes beyond the scope of the change that is needed. As I understand it, section 17 still applies-I hope that the minister will confirm that, because I am not a lawyer-and that is the test that must be passed before one comes to the tests that we are now talking about. If that is the case, the situation is already covered adequately and there is no need for the amendment.