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Section 99 of Mental Healthcare Act 2017: Research

Section 99 (Research) under Chapter XII (Admission, Treatment and Discharge) of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 —

❝(1) The professionals conducting research shall obtain free and informed consent from all persons with mental illness for participation in any research involving interviewing the person or psychological, physical, chemical or medicinal interventions.

(2) In case of research involving any psychological, physical, chemical or medicinal interventions to be conducted on person who is unable to give free and informed consent but does not resist participation in such research, permission to conduct such research shall be obtained from concerned State Authority.

(3) The State Authority may allow the research to proceed based on informed consent being obtained from the nominated representative of persons with mental illness, if the State Authority is satisfied that––
 (a) the proposed research cannot be performed on persons who are capable of giving free and informed consent;
 (b) the proposed research is necessary to promote the mental health of the population represented by the person;
 (c) the purpose of the proposed research is to obtain knowledge relevant to the particular mental health needs of persons with mental illness;
 (d) a full disclosure of the interests of persons and organisations conducting the proposed research is made and there is no conflict of interest involved; and
 (e) the proposed research follows all the national and international guidelines and regulations concerning the conduct of such research and ethical approval has been obtained from the institutional ethics committee where such research is to be conducted.

(4) The provisions of this section shall not restrict research based study of the case notes of a person who is unable to give informed consent, so long as the anonymity of the persons is secured.

(5) The person with mental illness or the nominated representative who gives informed consent for participation in any research under this Act may withdraw the consent at any time during the period of research.❞

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