Rajya Sabha passes Mental Health Care Bill, 2013
The Rajya Sabha unanimously passed the Mental Health Care Bill (MHCB), 2013 on Monday, paving the way for major reform of the mental health treatment infrastructure in India.
Health Minister J P Nadda called the bill “patient-centric” and “humane and progressive”, stating that it would help ensure healthcare, treatment and rehabilitation of patients “in a manner that does not intrude on their rights and dignity.”
Salient Features of the Bill -
- In a historic move, the bill decriminalizes suicide; henceforth, any person attempting suicide will be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to be suffering from mental illness, and will no longer be punishable under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)
- The use of electro-convulsive therapy has been banned on minors. It can only be used on adults after the use of anesthesia and muscle relaxants.
- Any person shall have the right to make an advance directive about how they want to be treated in the case of a mental illness, and who their nominated representative will be. The advance directive will have to be certified by a medical practitioner or registered with the Mental Health Board
- The decision to be admitted in a mental health institution shall, as far as possible, be made by the person with the mental illness, except when they are unable to make the decision for themselves, or conditions exist that make a supported decision unavoidable
- Every person shall have the right to access mental healthcare and treatment from services run and funded by the government, in such a fashion that the services will be affordable, of good quality, and easily accessible
- Persons with mental illness will also have the right to equality of treatment, protection from inhuman and degrading treatment, free legal services, access to their medical records, and complaints about deficiencies in provision of mental healthcare
Read the entire Bill here - https://goo.gl/nDObXV