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Mental health bill is set to decriminalise suicide in India

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5349 (Published 30 August 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5349
  1. Soumyadeep Bhaumik
  1. 1Kolkata

The much deliberated and long awaited Mental Healthcare Bill was introduced to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of India’s parliament, in the third week of August.

The bill, intended to replace 1987 legislation, includes provisions to decriminalise attempts at suicide and supports advanced directives to allow people to express how they would like to be treated should they lose the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.

India has been a pioneer among developing nations in identifying mental health as an important issue. It launched the National Mental Health Programme in 1982 to increase accessibility to “minimum healthcare for all” …

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