New Delhi: A new bill to protect rights of persons with mental illness has provisions for banning tonsuring of patients and allowing adults to make an advance directive on how they wish to be treated in case they suffer from mental illness in future.
The new bill that aims to ensure that proper medical treatment is provided to mentally ill patients also seeks to regulate the public and private mental health sectors and establish a mental health system integrated into all levels of general health care.
The Advance Directive to be furnished in writing by a person, irrespective of his mental illness, and registered with a Mental Board to be set up by the government at state and central levels, also allows the individual to appoint a nominated representative to deal with the kind of treatment in the case he falls mentally ill.
The person writing the advance directive and his nominated representative shall have a duty to ensure that the medical officer in charge of a mental health establishment or a medical practitioner has access to the advance directive.
The new Bill also seeks to establish a State Mental Health Authority and a Central Mental Health Authority, besides also a Mental Health Review Commission.