A person with mental illness has the right to confidentiality regarding his mental health, mental healthcare and physical healthcare1. This means that the mental health professional who is providing care/treatment must keep all such health related information private, and not reveal it without the respective person’s consent .
Additionally, this includes the release of information to the media, such as the release of photographs or any other information without consent. 2.
For instance, information is released by the relevant medical professional in the following cases:3:
- To the nominated representative to enable him to fulfil his duties
- To other health professionals to enable them to provide care and treatment
- If it is necessary to protect any person from harm or violence or threat to life
- On an order by an authority, such as the Mental Health Review Board, High Court, Supreme Court, etc.
- In the interests of public safety and security.
The right to confidentiality of the person with mental illness applies to all information stored in electronic or digital format. 40
- Section 23(1), the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.
- Section 24(1), the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.
- Section 23(2), the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.
- Section 24(2), the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.