From this paper it is clear that the Mental Health Act has not defined mental illness. The courts have also not provided any definition with regard to mental illness. Accordingly, there is nothing better than a general definition, which includes mental illness, arrested or incomplete development of the mind. It also encompasses psychopathic disorders and any other mental disorder or disability in individuals. This is a generalised definition; and serves the various purposes well, because, there is still much about the functioning of the human brain that has not been discovered. On the basis of this definition, a court or a medical authority can compel an individual to undergo mental health treatment and declare such treatment to be indispensable for the health and safety of that person.
As the study stresses such compulsory treatment is essential and that it is usually applied as a last resort for the mentally impaired. Such treatment is termed as sectioning. In general, treatment under this process continues for a maximum period of six months. At the end of this six month period, a review is to be conducted, and sectioning can be continued, whenever it is discerned that further treatment is warranted. After the completion of treatment, the patient can be subjected to a process called assessment. This assessment can be done against the will of that person. Under the provisions of section 2 of the Mental Health Act, this assessment programme cannot be for a duration that is more than twenty eight days. Medical professionals cannot extend this period of treatment, on their own, even if the treatment is inadequate or unsuccessful.