Electric shock to be used to treat mentally ills in rare cases: new Bill

Aiming to humanise the treatment of mental illnesses, government has drafted a new Bill which proposes to give patients the right to choose in advance the kind of treatment and recommends use of electric shocks in rare cases.

In the new draft law for mental sickness, government also proposes to ban electro convulsive treatment (ECT) (electric shocks) for minors as also its use directly in adults and recommended its use only in rare cases and that too under general anaesthesia.
It also proposes grant of medical insurance for patients who till now are not covered for insurance.

The new 'Mental Healthcare Bill - 2012' prepared by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and cleared by Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is ready to be sent to the Cabinet before being introduced in Parliament.

Incidentally, the proposals come ahead of Mental Health Day on October 10.
Once approved, the Bill for the first time, provides for persons with mental illness the right to know the criteria for admission to a facility, to seek a review of the admission being administered and to know the treatment planned by the doctor.

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