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ACT mental health law details wanted

By 1337Hax0r - 29 July 2012 8

Hello.

I’ve been trying to find the bit of legislation that states that ACT mental health workers may not engage in sexual relations with people under their care. The bit that states that the person under care can not be considered to give consent. Googling “mental health worker sexual consent” or similar keeps coming up with stuff about sex workers. Not what I’m after.

A pointer or link to the actual legislation would be helpful.

What’s Your opinion?


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8 Responses to
ACT mental health law details wanted
buzz819 7:39 am 31 Jul 12

So in saying this, I advise that you should not have sex with your mental health worker. You will get them fired, and they aren’t lying to you about it.

threepaws 4:25 pm 29 Jul 12

I’m not sure about legislation as such, but depending on the qualification of the worker, they may be a member of a relevant body and therefore be required to adhere to a code of conduct/ethics. For example, a registered psychologist may be a member of the Australian Psychological Society and be bound by their code of ethics.

http://www.psychology.org.au/about/ethics/

buzz819 2:52 pm 29 Jul 12

It’s in the Crimes Act 1900

54 Sexual intercourse without consent
(1) A person who engages in sexual intercourse with another person
without the consent of that other person and who is reckless as to
whether that other person consents to the sexual intercourse is guilty
of an offence punishable, on conviction, by imprisonment for 12
years.

(1) For sections 54, 55 (3) (b), 60 and 61 (3) (b) and without limiting
the grounds on which it may be established that consent is negated,
the consent of a person to sexual intercourse with another person, or
to the committing of an act of indecency by or with another person,
is negated if that consent is caused—

(h) by the abuse by the other person of his or her position of
authority over, or professional or other trust in relation to, the
person;

(3) If it is established that a person who knows the consent of another
person to sexual intercourse or the committing of an act of
indecency has been caused by any of the means set out in
subsection (1) (a) to (j), the person shall be deemed to know that the
other person does not consent to the sexual intercourse or the act of
indecency, as the case may be.

beejay76 1:59 pm 29 Jul 12

This may not be much help, but the Health Pratictitioner Registration Agency (www.ahpra.gov.au) oversee the resgistration of health and allied health professionals. I can only speak for psycholgists, but relationships are covered in the APS Code of Ethics and IIRC are binding vis a vis registration.

At any rate, they may be able to provide some useful guidance if the individual you are concerned about is in a registered profession.

godot64 1:20 pm 29 Jul 12

Try searching under Mental Health Act Code of Conduct:
http://www.health.act.gov.au/c/health?a=dlpubpoldoc&document=84
http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/1994-44/current/pdf/1994-44.pdf

I’d be surprised if you find anything that states that a mentally unwell person cannot give consent. It’s more about the professional standards and practices required of mental health workers.

boo 12:46 pm 29 Jul 12
m_ratt 12:17 pm 29 Jul 12

I don’t believe there’s anything in the Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Act 1994 to that effect.

If the health practitioner in question is registered with AHPRA then that may be notifiable conduct however: http://www.ahpra.gov.au/Notifications-and-Outcomes/Conduct-Health-and-Performance/Conduct.aspx and you would be able to make a Notification with your concerns: https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Notifications-and-Outcomes/Conduct-Health-and-Performance/Make-a-Notification.aspx

As for legislation: try Division 2, Section 140 of http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/db_39269/current/pdf/db_39269.pdf (Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (ACT))

steveu 11:16 am 29 Jul 12

I don’t know about the mental health act or related acts, but I think there would definitely be a policy and subsequent direction under that policy. Breach of this would be a code of conduct issue and dealt with under ACT PS legislation.

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