Section 19 in The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017

Title: Right to community living

Description: (1) Every person with mental illness shall,— (a) have a right to live in, be part of and not be segregated from society; and (b) not continue to remain in a mental health establishment merely because he does not have a family or is not accepted by his family or is homeless or due to absence of community based facilities. (2) Where it is not possible for a mentally ill person to live with his family or relatives, or where a mentally ill person has been abandoned by his family or relatives, the appropriate Government shall provide support as appropriate including legal aid and to facilitate exercising his right to family home and living in the family home. (3) The appropriate Government shall, within a reasonable period, provide for or support the establishment of less restrictive community based establishments including half-way homes, group homes and the like for persons who no longer require treatment in more restrictive mental health establishments such as long stay mental hospitals.

Title: Right to protection from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment

Description: (1) Every person with mental illness shall have a right to live with dignity. (2) Every person with mental illness shall be protected from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in any mental health establishment and shall have the following rights, namely:— (a) to live in safe and hygienic environment; (b) to have adequate sanitary conditions; (c) to have reasonable facilities for leisure, recreation, education and religious practices; (d) to privacy; (e) for proper clothing so as to protect such person from exposure of his body to maintain his dignity; (f) to not be forced to undertake work in a mental health establishment and to receive appropriate remuneration for work when undertaken; (g) to have adequate provision for preparing for living in the community; (h) to have adequate provision for wholesome food, sanitation, space and access to articles of personal hygiene, in particular, women's personal hygiene be adequately addressed by providing access to items that may be required during menstruation; (i) to not be subject to compulsory tonsuring (shaving of head hair); (j) to wear own personal clothes if so wished and to not be forced to wear uniforms provided by the establishment; and (k) to be protected from all forms of physical, verbal, emotional and sexual abuse.

Title: Right to equality and non-discrimination

Description: (1) Every person with mental illness shall be treated as equal to persons with physical illness in the provision of all healthcare which shall include the following, namely:— (a) there shall be no discrimination on any basis including gender, sex, sexual orientation, religion, culture, caste, social or political beliefs, class or disability; (b) emergency facilities and emergency services for mental illness shall be of the same quality and availability as those provided to persons with physical illness; (c) persons with mental illness shall be entitled to the use of ambulance services in the same manner, extent and quality as provided to persons with physical illness; (d) living conditions in health establishments shall be of the same manner, extent and quality as provided to persons with physical illness; and (e) any other health services provided to persons with physical illness shall be provided in same manner, extent and quality to persons with mental illness. (2) A child under the age of three years of a woman receiving care, treatment or rehabilitation at a mental health establishment shall ordinarily not be separated from her during her stay in such establishment: Provided that where the treating Psychiatrist, based on his examination of the woman, and if appropriate, on information provided by others, is of the opinion that there is risk of harm to the child from the woman due to her mental illness or it is in the interest and safety of the child, the child shall be temporarily separated from the woman during her stay at the mental health establishment: Provided further that the woman shall continue to have access to the child under such supervision of the staff of the establishment or her family, as may be appropriate, during the period of separation. (3) The decision to separate the woman from her child shall be reviewed every fifteen days during the woman's stay in the mental health establishment and separation shall be terminated as soon as conditions which required the separation no longer exist: Provided that any separation permitted as per the assessment of a mental health professional, if it exceeds thirty days at a stretch, shall be required to be approved by the respective Authority. (4) Every insurer shall make provision for medical insurance for treatment of mental illness on the same basis as is available for treatment of physical illness.

Title: Right to information

Description: (1) A person with mental illness and his nominated representative shall have the rights to the following information, namely:— (a) the provision of this Act or any other law for the time being in force under which he has been admitted, if he is being admitted, and the criteria for admission under that provision; (b) of his right to make an application to the concerned Board for a review of the admission; (c) the nature of the person's mental illness and the proposed treatment plan which includes information about treatment proposed and the known side effects of the proposed treatment; (d) receive the information in a language and form that such person receiving the information can understand. (2) In case complete information cannot be given to the person with mental illness at the time of the admission or the start of treatment, it shall be the duty of the medical officer or psychiatrist in-charge of the person's care to ensure that full information is provided promptly when the individual is in a position to receive it: Provided that where the information has not been given to the person with mental illness at the time of the admission or the start of treatment, the medical officer or psychiatrist in charge of the person's care shall give the information to the nominated representative immediately.

Title: Right to confidentiality

Description: (1) A person with mental illness shall have the right to confidentiality in respect of his mental health, mental healthcare, treatment and physical healthcare. (2) All health professionals providing care or treatment to a person with mental illness shall have a duty to keep all such information confidential which has been obtained during care or treatment with the following exceptions, namely:— (a) release of information to the nominated representative to enable him to fulfil his duties under this Act; (b) release of information to other mental health professionals and other health professionals to enable them to provide care and treatment to the person with mental illness; (c) release of information if it is necessary to protect any other person from harm or violence; (d) only such information that is necessary to protect against the harm identified shall be released; (e) release only such information as is necessary to prevent threat to life; (f) release of information upon an order by concerned Board or the Central Authority or High Court or Supreme Court or any other statutory authority competent to do so; and (g) release of information in the interests of public safety and security.