Bill to decriminalise suicide gets all-round support in Lok Sabha
A crucial bill seeking to decriminalise suicide and provide the right to better healthcare for people suffering from mental illness on Friday drew all-round support in the Lok Sabha.
The Mental Healthcare Bill, which was passed by the Rajya Sabha with 134 official amendments in August last year, was moved for consideration and passage by Health Minister JP Nadda who said it was introduced in the Lower House after wide-ranging consultations with experts, academia and others.
It found support from the opposition, though the debate on it remained inconclusive.
"The bill empowers the patients for mental healthcare. It gives them the right so that he/she is not denied (treatment) or discriminated against. The focus is on community mental healthcare...It is a rights-based bill," Nadda said.
The measure provides that a person who attempts suicide shall be presumed to be suffering from mental illness at that time and will not be punished under the Indian Penal Code. It also seeks to protect and promote the right of persons with mental illness during the delivery of healthcare in institutions and in the community.