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Are there any specific UK laws that deal with the following?

I've struggled with mental health problems most of my adult life and am currently on the waiting list for an nhs referral to a psychiatrist. I am seeking, after years of struggle,medication and therapy, a diagnosis.

Last week, I booked a consultation for the next available slot at an aesthetic clinic to enquire about dermal fillers. At the appointment the following day, the clinic director told me she instead recommended something called a thread lift, a much more extreme and invasive non-surgical face lift procedure. I am a 33 year old female, and even though she had my date of birth right in front of her on the consultation form, she kept telling me my genetics were against me as I had serious collagen loss at age 36. I was at that moment in a complete irrational, impulsive, obsessive frenzy and said I wanted to do the procedure. They told me they could move things around that day and book me in for in just over 1 hour that same day. I signed the forms and then paid £4000, over half of my entire savings, for the procedure an hour and a half later.

I am in complete shock that I did this and truly believe I wasn't in a clear and logical state of mind. I am also shocked that the clinic did no screening for mental health flags and also that they offered me the procedure in such a short timeframe after my initial consultation (1.5 hours later), without giving me time to go away, reflect on the information they'd provided, to research and make an informed decision. If I had done that, I'm certain I wouldn't have gone ahead with it and willingly given away such a substantial sum of money.

I'm unsure if there is anything I can do here, as I obviously willingly signed the forms and agreed to it all on the day. The forms also included sentences around 'i understand I can withdraw at any time/I'm not being pressured into going ahead,' which I ultimately signed.

Are there any UK laws specifically around consumers making poor decisions during a mental health crisis, and/or medical service providers not screening for such concerns, and/or not giving patient sufficient time to independently make a considered decision?

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  • Did you get this procedure done actually?
    – gnasher729
    Dec 14, 2021 at 16:09

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You went to this clinic voluntarily out of your own free will; things would be different if they had contacted you first. Did they have any reason to screen you for mental health problems? If you mentioned mental health problems, that might make a difference. Did they in any way force you to sign up and pay, for example walk with you to a cash machine? That might make a difference.

In the forms it said "I understand that I can withdraw at any time". That's what you should have done. "I'm not being pressured into going ahead" on the other hand would likely be worthless, since if you were pressured, you would have signed this anyway. But that doesn't mean you were pressured, you'd have to give evidence for this.

Unless you can show that your mental problems are so bad that you will make decisions against your will, this looks difficult. And if you have those mental problems, that might mean that someone else would have to make those decisions.

I would suggest consulting a lawyer and ask for their opinion. A lawyer would know better than you or me, and lawyers can often write convincing letters, for example they might convince the clinic to charge you only their actual cost. Which would still be expensive, but a lot cheaper than £4,000.

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