ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Mental Illness, Care, and the Bill

A Simplistic Interpretation

Critiquing Bhargavi V Davar's ideas of "psychosocial disabilities", discrimination, autonomy, and informed consent ("Legal Frameworks for and against People with Psychosocial Disabilities", EPW, 29 December 2012), two comments interrogate the essential concepts of mental illness and disability, and access to care within the legal framework of the draft Mental Health Care Bill.

The vulnerable and marginalised are often those who are the most neglected, violated and discriminated against. However, suffering is universal and does not always affect only those traditionally perceived as weak, be it the poor, elderly, homeless, persons living with a disability or a mental disorder, etc. It must be noted though, that loss of social capital undoubtedly enhances the extent of distress, relegating those who experience pain and loss as a result of their context further to the periphery. As a society, it is our duty and obligation to uphold values of justice and equity, as we promote the rights of underserved persons, keeping in mind the need to protect lives, minds, liberty and aspirations.


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