Last updated 1 May 2020

The treatment criteria are the criteria that need to apply to justify involuntary treatment under the Mental Health Act 2016 (Qld) (Mental Health Act). Each of the following must apply (s 12):

  • the person has a mental illness
  • the person does not have capacity to consent to be treated for the illness
  • because of the person’s illness, the absence of involuntary treatment, or the absence of continued involuntary treatment, is likely to result in:
    • imminent serious harm to the person or others or
    • the person suffering serious mental or physical deterioration.

An authorised doctor may make a treatment authority for a person only if satisfied that all of these treatment criteria apply, and that there is no less restrictive way for the person to receive treatment and care for their mental illness (ss 48, 49 Mental Health Act). In deciding the nature and extent of the treatment and care under the treatment authority, the authorised doctor must discuss the treatment and care with the person and have regard to the views, wishes and preferences of the person, to the extent they can be expressed (s 53 Mental Health Act).

However, the treatment criteria may not necessarily apply if a person is required to have involuntary treatment as a consequence of criminal proceedings against them. In those cases, the main consideration is protecting the safety of the community.