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The Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983 found that people’s experiences and self-knowledge were mislabelled as a ‘lack of insight’. Insight, a psychiatric concept, is defined as an ability to recognise one’s mental illness, awareness of one’s symptoms and compliance with treatment. Across different jurisdictions, legal scholars have raised concerns about the influence of insight on legal provisions for psychiatric care and mental capacity assessments, given its prevalent use in psychiatry and its absence from statutory criteria. However, outside of these findings, little is known about people’s lived experiences of ‘insight’ and the law. This article draws on narrative and photo-elicitation interviews with psychiatric survivors to argue that insight is an extra-legislative proxy for regulating involuntary detention and other coercion masked as consent. Finally, this article draws on the capabilities approach to deliver a justice argument for creating real opportunities to provide informed consent in mental health settings.
In 2020 the Constitutional Tribunal of Poland held that the legislation that permitted abortion in cases of ‘fatal foetal anomaly’ was an unconstitutional interference with the right to life of the foetus. This article examines the recent decision, which prohibits abortion on the grounds of foetal anomaly, arguing that this decision is part of a broader scheme of Polish and transnational anti-abortion lawfare. This lawfare seeks both to (re)shape Polish law in an anti-abortion mould, and to take advantage of ‘gaps’ in European and international human rights law standards on abortion in order to claim rights compliance for law and policy that, in reality, restricts access to abortion in a manner that is incompatible with international human rights law.
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