nearest relative

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A person, usually a family member, who is given certain powers under the Mental Health Act 1983 in respect of a person with a mental disorder; these include the power to make an application for compulsory admission to hospital. The legal definition is found in section 26, the nearest relative being the person nearest to the top of the list there given, the first four being: (i) husband or wife or civil partner; (ii) son or daughter; (iii) father or mother; (iv) brother or sister. A patient may apply to court to nominate their own nearest relative if the person identified as such by this list is not suitable.

Subjects: Law.

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