• Nearest Relative

    Nearest relative is a special term used in the Mental Health Act 1983. It gives one member of your family rights and responsibilities if you are detained in hospital under sections 2, 3, 4 or 37, under a community treatment order, or under a guardianship.

    Section 26 of the Mental Health Act 1983 sets out who will be your nearest relative using a list starting with husband or wife (or civil partner) the son or daughter right down to nephew or niece. Special rules apply if you are under 18.

    Your nearest relative can apply or object to you being sectioned or placed under a guardianship, can discharge you if sectioned and apply to the Mental Health Tribunal if refused. They can also be consulted about you if you have been sectioned.

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