Not as Straight-Forward as that It’s Just ‘An Added Fuss’ – Untangling How Indian Psychiatrists Construe Domestic Human Rights Legislation


  • Alena Kahle Sociology of Law Department, Lund University



After its ratification of the 2006 United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the Indian government proceeded to work through a list of laws from various fields – employment, housing, healthcare, personal status – that would need to be amended to guarantee the rights in the UNCRPD. Regarding the healthcare of persons with mental illness, the law-drafters deemed it insufficient to merely amend the existing law and proceeded to draft a new, innovative mental healthcare law. When the Mental Healthcare Act (MHA) was passed in 2017, responses were strongly polarised: On the one hand, it was lauded for staying true to the vision of the UNCRPD (Duffy & Kelly, 2019), while on the other hand, especially psychiatrists heavily criticised that they anticipated the law would adversely affect their ability to treat patients






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