Mental Healthcare Bill passed in parliament

One of the prime features of the bill is that it seeks to provide proper health-care, treatment and rehabilitation of mentally ill persons, in a manner that does not intrude on their rights and dignity

passed

The ‘Mental Healthcare Bill' has been passed in parliament on Monday. The bill decriminalises suicide attempt by mentally ill people and provides services for people with mental illness.

The bill said, "Notwithstanding anything contained in section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to have severe stress and shall not be tried and punished under the said Code."

Here are the provisions under the Mental Healthcare Bill:

1. Rights of persons with mental illness: This provision states that every person will have the right to access mental healthcare from services which are operated or funded by the government. It also includes good quality, easy and affordable access to services. It also provides for the right to equality of treatment, seeks to protect such persons from inhuman treatment, access to free legal services, their medical records, and the right to complain in the event of regarding deficiencies in provisions.

2. Advance Directive: This provision empowers a mentally-ill person to have the right to make an advance directive that explains how she/he wants to be treated for the requisite illness and who her/his nominated representative shall be. This directive has to be vetted by a medical practitioner.

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