Mr. Leslie Hale
asked the Minister of Health where a parent or guardian makes application for the release of a mentally defective or mentally deficient child committed under the order of the court, what are the right or powers of the parent to have an independent examination of the patient or to challenge the certificate of the resident medical officer.
§ Mr. Bevan
Under Section 11 (2) of the Mental Deficiency Act, 1913, every order made under that Act (including orders by the courts) is subject to review by the Board of Control at the end of each of the first two years after it is made and each succeeding five years. On each occasion, the Board of Control are required to give consideration to the report of any duly qualified medical practitioner who may have made a medical examination of the patient at the request of his parent or guardian, or any relative or friend. In addition the case of every patient is reviewed when he reaches the age of 21 by the visitors appointed under the Act; and the parent or guardian has the right of appeal to the Board of Control against the decision of the visitors, if it is unfavourable. Further, it is within the discretion of the superintendent of an institution to afford facilities for an independent medical examination of a patient at any time.