Bill Passed in the Parliament that Decriminalises Suicide Attempt by Mentally ill People

NEW DELHI : Parliament on Monday, March 27, 2017 passed a bill that seeks to decriminalize suicide attempt by mentally ill people. The bill also seeks to provide for the right to better healthcare for people suffering from mental illness.

The Bill, which was passed by the House by a voice vote, has a provision to protect and restore property rights of mentally ill people.

Union Health Minister J P Nadda thanked Congress Leader Shashi Tharoor for his suggestion made during a discussion on the legislation in the lower house earlier.

Tharoor had earlier on March 24th said that he had lived with a victim of mental illness and knows about the pain that a person goes through.

Stating that the 1987 Mental Act was institutionalised, the minister said that in the present bill, instead of the institution, the focus was on the community.

The Bill passed focusses on community-based treatment and provides for special treatment for women.

There was a need to take care of the health and hygiene of the patients, he said, adding the right of a child with his/her mother will also be maintained.

Describing the bill as "historic", the Health Minister said with the support of all, "we can develop the mental health services."

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