In a remarkable show of compassion, the Indian government has now ‘humanised’ the process of mental treatment. The Indian government has drafted a bill that will allow mental patients to choose the kind of treatment that they want for themselves. The new law is likely to see a ban on Electro Convulsive Treatment or electric shocks to minors and the direct use in adults. It is recommended to be used only on rare cases.
The Mental Healthcare Bill 2012 prepared by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will allow mentally ill patients to the right to know the criteria for being admitted in a facility, seek a review and also know the kind of treatment that are being planned by the doctors. The bill further differentiates between mental disorder and disability and says that a mental ill person cannot be taken for granted and should be allowed to take his or her decision. Tonsuring of heads of the sick in mental homes have is also under the banning radar.
Violators of the proposed law would be imprisoned from six months to two years or fine from Rs 10,000 to Rs 5, 00,00,0. The ambitious bill proposes to bring Mental Health Review Commissions at district, state and national levels. This coincides the occasion of World Mental Health day with the government sending strong signal of its support and understanding.
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