― Emilie Autumn, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls
Decriminalizing suicide- about time...
NEW DELHI: A Bill has been introduced in the Rajya Sabha to decriminalize suicide.
The mental health care bill, 2013, aims at making access to affordable mental healthcare a right for all and seeks to decriminalize acts of suicide, linking it to the state of mental health of the person attempting the act.
According to the new legislation, those attempting suicide would be treated as mentally ill, unless proved otherwise and exempted from Section 309, IPC.
This section says whoever attempts suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offence, shall be punished with simple imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine, or with both.
Section 124 of the Bill says, "Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 309 of the IPC, any person who attempts suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to be suffering from mental illness at the time of the bid and shall not be liable to punishment under the said section."
The legislation clarifies that the act of suicide and the mental health of the person committing the act are inseparably linked and have to be seen together, not in isolation. The landmark bill aims to provide mental healthcare to people with mental illnesses and to protect, promote and fulfil the rights of such people during the delivery of mental healthcare and services.
It bars inhuman practices such as electro-convulsive therapy without anaesthesia, sterilization as a treatment for illness, chaining and tonsuring of heads of the mentally ill.
The Bill provides stringent penalties for those found running unregistered mental healthcare establishments which would be fined between Rs 50,000 and Rs 5 lakh, depending on the frequency of the offence.
Source: TOI; "In Rajya Sabha, bill to decriminalize suicide tabled"- TNN | Aug 22, 2013, 12.49 AM IST