The aetiology of psychopathy remains obscure
The aetiology of psychopathy remains obscure. The search for a conclusive definition of ‘psychopathy’ is arguably contentious; with ‘mental disorder’ itself, open to definition. On one end of the spectrum, professors such as McSherry, would go so far as to say that ‘it is not a genuine mental disorder at all’ whereas, some may label psychopaths as remorseless, evil and dangerous, epitomised by the likes of Ian Brady. Alternatively, others ascribe the term ‘personality disorder’ to those who are violent and appear to suffer from a mental disorder but are not usually, receptive to treatment. In this essay, I will be considering the correlation between a disorder of the mind and criminal behaviour; reaching a conclusion that psychopathy should be included in the mental health legislation.
Under s.1(2) of the Mental Health Act 2007, a mental disorder is defined as ‘any disability or disorder of the mind.’ As what constitutes to a mental disorder is so broad, means any incomplete development of the mind will suffice to render an individual ‘mentally ill.’ In relation to the legal implications, the Court of Protection, who is in charge of assuming control of affairs of those lacking capacity under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, may adopt the understanding that someone who has difficulties of for example; short term memory or has cognitive difficulties, could be under their remit.