THE Duke of Hamilton's widow has called for a change in the law surrounding the detention of people in psychiatric hospitals.

Lady Hamilton wants to stop people being held in such ­institutions on the orders of just two people, backing campaigners' demands for forced detentions to be approved instead by a panel of experts.

She made the call as she recalled her experiences of the 2009 detention of her husband when he was suffering from dementia. He died in June 2010 at the age of 71.

Lady Hamilton said that her husband had been cared for at home until a psychiatrist suggested they go to hospital to check his medication.

She said she was led to believe it would be for a short period but found out her husband had actually been sectioned for 28 days - something that "really upset" him.

She said: "I could hear him ­calling for me: 'Kay, Kay'."

"I said, 'It's alright pet. You're here voluntarily, you can come home if you want to'.

"Then a voice behind said, 'No he can't. He's been sectioned for 28 days and he may not get out then'."

She recalled seeing him try to escape from a first-floor window on one occasion.

She said: "He rushed out into my arms saying, 'home' and then they had to pull him away from me," she said.

"I thought 'if this can happen to the Duke of Hamilton, what chance has Joe Bloggs got?'"

He was later discharged but Lady Hamilton said she believed the episode hastened his death.

She is now calling on the ­Scottish Parliament to examine changes to Scotland's Mental Health Act, which allows for a person's detention against their will if a doctor and a mental health officer agree that they suffer from a mental disorder.

She said: "Please look at this Act and implement something to prevent this happening."

A spokeswoman for Alzheimer Scotland said while there were clearly failures in the case of the Duke of Hamilton it was not necessarily indicative of the wider situation.

She said: "There is always room for improvement. The Act is up for review which gives us the ideal opportunity to for us to consider what needs to be changed.

"Our understanding of what is needed in caring for people with dementia has evolved quite considerably since the Act first came into force.

"Despite this instance with the Duke of Hamilton, where there was a real failure of practice, on the whole when the act is used by properly by informed staff, it is generally used appropriately."

Angus Douglas-Hamilton was born in London in 1938 and was the eldest son of the 14th Duke of Hamilton.

The duke held the role of Premier Peer of Scotland and was the Hereditary Keeper of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence in Scotland.

He could trace his ancestry back to Mary Queen of Scots and was custodian of the family's 14th-century seat, Lennoxlove House in East Lothian.

The Hamilton dukedom is the oldest in Scotland, dating back to the mid-17th century.

Unlike his politically active  brother Lord James Douglas Hamilton, the duke's Westminster involvement was largely confined to work on the European sub-committee on energy and transport in the 1970s. However, he was the bearer of the Crown of Scotland at the inauguration of the Scottish Parliament in 1999.

He had dukes on both sides of his family  with  his mother Lady Elizabeth Percy  the elder daughter of the  Eighth Duke of Northumberland.

His father the 14th Duke of Hamilton cut a more prominent public figure. In 1933 he had become the first to fly over Everest, and in 1941 took the news to Churchill that Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy, had landed in Scotland to seek him out.