Section 21 in The Mental Healthcare Act 2017

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.

Title: Restriction on release of information in respect of mental illness

Description: (1) No photograph or any other information relating to a person with mental illness undergoing treatment at a mental health establishment shall be released to the media without the consent of the person with mental illness. (2) The right to confidentiality of person with mental illness shall also apply to all information stored in electronic or digital format in real or virtual space.

Title: Right to access medical records

Description: (1) All persons with mental illness shall have the right to access their basic medical records as may be prescribed. (2) The mental health professional in charge of such records may withhold specific information in the medical records if disclosure would result in,— (a) serious mental harm to the person with mental illness; or (b) likelihood of harm to other persons. (3) When any information in the medical records is withheld from the person, the mental health professional shall inform the person with mental illness of his right to apply to the concerned Board for an order to release such information.