Tasmanian Bill to codify rights for those with mental health illnesses
A new Bill brought before the Tasmanian Parliament seeks to provide official recognition of human rights for those suffering with a mental illness.
The Mental Health Bill 2012 is aimed at bolstering the existing rights of mental health consumers in Tasmania by ensuring treatment reflects a human rights based approach.
"The Bill balances consumer rights with the need for the treatment and care of people with mental illness," State Minister for Health Michelle O’Byrne said.
The new legislation recognises the ability of individuals with capacity to make their own choices about treatment.
It also enables treatment to be provided to people lacking capacity where this is necessary for their health and safety or the safety of others.
Ms O'Byrne said the Bill would prevent a person with mental illness being treated or detained against their will if they have decision-making capacity.
"In addition, it establishes a single independent Tribunal with authority to make decisions about both treatment and the treatment setting."
Ms O'Byrne said the independent Tribunal would be comprised of legal and medical experts.
"The Bill also proposes these decisions should be regularly reviewed within required timeframes."
Ms O'Byrne said the Bill was developed following extensive public consultation involving consumers, carers and clinicians.