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date: 12 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter applies the modified philosophy of Alasdair MacIntyre to mental health law, and in particular to the mental health tribunal. The natural law approach of Thomas Aquinas is used to assist in this. It is argued that, for law to be just in pre-modern terms, it requires that it be assessed as rational together with the care it supports as a single entity. As such, according to a modified version of the Thomistic Aristotelian ethics of MacIntyre, justice would require reconciliation of both doctor and patient narratives regarding care, possibly at the tribunal. It is suggested that psychiatric intensive care, in particular, could benefit from this approach. The approach might be seen as an additional protection to human rights-based considerations. It is also argued that the tribunal can be seen differently, according to the tradition of enquiry.

Keywords: Alasdair MacIntyre, Aquinas, Aristotelian ethics, human rights, mental health law, Mental health tribunal, narratives, natural law, psychiatric intensive care, Thomistic

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