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Self-discharge and the Mental Capacity Act



Billy Longshaw: Report to prevent future deaths


Billy died aged 22, he had significant learning disabilities. He was taken to A&E following sudden abdominal pain and vomiting. He was then allowed to discharge himself without basic blood tests being taken and no assessment of his mental capacity to make this decision (this was described in the records as ‘self-discharged against medical advice’). He died 24 hours later.


The coroners report (16 March 2022) found: ‘Mr Longshaw’s death raises issues as to the adequacy of education provided to medical students as to the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and doctors’ of all levels familiarity with the practical application of this legislation in clinical settings...’


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