New Bill Recognises Human Rights of Tasmanians with a Mental Illness Thu 27 September 2012 Michelle O'Byrne Minister for Health Recognition for the human rights of Tasmanians with mental illness is at the centre of new mental health legislation which commenced debate in Parliament today, said the Minister for Health, Michelle O'Byrne. Ms O'Byrne said the Mental Health Bill 2012, is aimed at bolstering the rights of mental health consumers in Tasmania by ensuring treatment reflects a human rights approach. "The Bill balances consumer rights with the need for the treatment and care of people with mental illness," Ms O'Byrne said. "The important role played by carers and family members is also recognised." 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. "I would again like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Bill's development for their valuable input."