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Section 97 of Mental Healthcare Act 2017: Restraints and Seclusion

Section 97 (Restraints and seclusion) under Chapter XII (Admission, Treatment and Discharge) of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 —

❝(1) A person with mental illness shall not be subjected to seclusion or solitary confinement, and, where necessary, physical restraint may only be used when,—
 (a) it is the only means available to prevent imminent and immediate harm to person concerned or to others;
 (b) it is authorised by the psychiatrist in charge of the person's treatment at the mental health establishment.

(2) Physical restraint shall not be used for a period longer than it is absolutely necessary to prevent the immediate risk of significant harm.

(3) The medical officer or mental health professional in charge of the mental health establishment shall be responsible for ensuring that the method, nature of restraint justification for its imposition and the duration of the restraint are immediately recorded in the person's medical notes.

(4) The restraint shall not be used as a form of punishment or deterrent in any circumstance and the mental health establishment shall not use restraint merely on the ground of shortage of staff in such establishment.

(5) The nominated representative of the person with mental illness shall be informed about every instance of restraint within a period of twenty-four hours.

(6) A person who is placed under restraint shall be kept in a place where he can cause no harm to himself or others and under regular ongoing supervision of the medical personnel at the mental health establishment.

(7) The mental health establishment shall include all instances of restraint in the report to be sent to the concerned Board on a monthly basis.

(8) The Central Authority may make regulations for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this section.

(9) The Board may order a mental health establishment to desist from applying restraint if the Board is of the opinion that the mental health establishment is persistently and wilfully ignoring the provisions of this section.❞

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