Mental Health Care Bill , a bill which seeks to decriminalise suicide and provide better healthcare for people suffering from mental illness was passed by the Rajya Sabha.
Mental Health Care Bill 2013:-
The Mental Health Care Bill 2013, which provides for protection and promotion of rights of persons with mental illness during the delivery of health care in institutions and in the community, was passed unanimously by a voice vote.
- The Mental Health Care Bill 2013 says that any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to be suffering from mental illness at the time of attempting suicide and shall not be liable to punishment under section 309 of Indian Penal Code (IPC).
- As of now, a person who attempts to commit suicide is charged under section 309 of IPC as it is considered to be an offence.
- There were 134 official amendments to the bill, which took almost an hour to be passed clause by clause.
- This bill seeks to provide better medical care to mentally ill besides ensuring their basic rights.
- The upper house discussed and debated the bill, which replaces the Mental Health Act, 1987 for over four hours before giving its nod to it. It was passed with a record 134 amendments.
- This “humane and progressive” bill focus was to provide better support and facilities to the people suffering from various kinds of mental illnesses as proposed by Union Health Minister.
- All the members expressed concern over condition of mentally ill people in the country and called for more doctors and facilities were needed for their treatment.
- Psycho surgery, for which lots of apprehensions were expressed, will only be done only when needed and a mentally-ill person will have the right to make an advance directive that states how he wants to be treated for the illness during a mental health situation and who his nominated representative.
- It is noted that around six to seven per cent of the country’s population suffered from some kind of mental illnesses, while one to two per cent suffer from acute mental disease.