ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1. Short title
3. Classification of mentally disordered and defective persons
4. Authority for detention and application of the Act
5. Application for reception order
6. Procedure on receipt of application by District Commissioner
7. District Commissioner may order apprehension in certain cases
8. Proceedings may be held in private
9. Issue of reception order
10. Temporary treatment
11. Duty of the District Commissioner in relation to property
12. Duty of police officer to apply for order in certain cases
13. Directions or orders in lieu of reception orders
Effect of a Reception Order
14. Period of detention
15. Order endorsed under section 10
16. Other reception orders
17. Urgent application
18. Administrative officer may order apprehension in certain cases
19. Apprehension without warrant in certain cases
20. Duty of person receiving a patient in urgent cases
21. Procedure on receipt by District Commissioner of notification
Provisions as to Medical Certificates Given under Parts II,
III and IV
22. Particulars to be contained in medical certificates
23. Incompetence of medical practitioner in certain cases
24. Statement of eligibility to sign to be stated in certificate
Procedure after Issue of Reception Order
25. District Commissioner to send copies of order and reports to Master
26. Duty of superintendent
27. Powers of Master on consideration of reception order and documents
28. Director may order transfer of patient
Patients Residing in Private Dwelling Houses
29. Where no remuneration is paid for maintenance and care
30. Not more than one patient to be in private dwelling
31. Visiting of patients under this Part
Review and Termination of Detention
32. Reports on patients
33. Patient, relative or friend may apply for inquiry
34. Termination of detention
Temporary Treatment of Voluntary Patients
35. Minister may authorize places for temporary treatment
36. Voluntary patients
37. Notice of reception, death and departure of voluntary patients and provisions as to discharge
Mental Health Board
38. Constitution of Mental Health Board
39. Functions of the Board
40. Reports by the Board
Offences and Penalties
41. Detaining patients except under provisions of Act
42. False statements, entries and wilful obstruction
43. Ill-treatment by nurses or other persons in charge
44. Conniving at escape of patient
45. Employment of male persons in personal custody of female patient
47. Examination of patient at institution
General and Supplementary
48. Act not to be taken to limit powers of court
49. Limitation of actions by patients
50. Mechanical means of restraint
52. Minister may authorize removal of patients from Botswana
53. Provisions regarding patients passing through Botswana
Act 1, 1969,
Act 5, 1971,
S.I. 56, 1971.
An Act to make provision for the reception, detention, treatment and protection of mentally disordered persons.
[Date of Commencement: 23rd April, 1971]
Preliminary (ss 1-4)
This Act may be cited as the Mental Disorders Act.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-
"child" means any person under the apparent age of 16 years;
"class" means a class specified in section 3;
"detention order" means an order issued under section 21;
"Director" means Director or Deputy Director of Medical Services;
"District Commissioner" includes an administrative officer acting, by the authority of the District Commissioner, on his behalf;
"institution" means a mental hospital or other place which is prescribed as an institution or place for the reception, medical treatment and detention of persons suffering from mental disorder or defect:
Provided that no prison may be prescribed as a place for the medical treatment of persons suffering from a mental disorder or defect;
"Master" means the Master of the High Court of Botswana;
"medical practitioner" means a medical practitioner duly registered as such in Botswana;
"mentally disordered or defective person" means any person who in consequence of a mental disorder or disease or permanent defect of reason or mind, congenital or acquired, is incapable of managing himself or his affairs, or is in consequence of such disorder or disease or defect a danger to himself or others, or is unable to conform with the ordinary usages of the society in which he moves, or who in consequence of such disorder, disease or defect requires supervision of treatment or control, or who, if a child, appears by reason of such defect to be permanently incapable of receiving proper benefit from instruction in ordinary schools;
"Mental Health Board" or "Board" means the Mental Health Board as established under Part X;
"patient" means a mentally disordered or defective person or person concerning whom proceedings are considered necessary to determine whether or not he is suffering from a mental disorder or defect;
"place of detention" means a place prescribed for the reception and detention of persons suffering from mental disorder or defect:
Provided that no police lock-up shall be so prescribed without the concurrence of the Commissioner of Police;
"reception order" means an order issued under section 9;
"superintendent" means an officer or person in charge of an institution, prison or other place of detention and includes a medical superintendent.
For the purposes of this Act and all proceedings thereunder, mentally disordered or defective persons are divided into the following classes-
(a) Class I: a person who is-
(i) of suicidal or homicidal tendency or is in any way dangerous to himself or others; or
(ii) has committed or attempted to commit any offence of a serious character;
(b) Class II: a person who, although not falling within Class I, is unable to guard himself against common physical dangers or to look after his person and who requires skilled medical attention;
(c) Class III: a person who, although not falling within Class I, is unable to guard himself against common physical dangers or to look after his person but who does not require skilled medical attention.
(1) No person shall be detained in an institution or elsewhere on the grounds of being a mentally disordered or defective person except-
(a) by virtue of the provisions of this Act; or
(b) in accordance with the provisions of Part XI of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
(2) The provisions of this Act other than section 40(3) and section 50 shall not apply in the case of a person detained in accordance with the provisions of Part XI of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
Reception Orders (ss 5-13)
(1) To obtain a reception order for a patient, the husband or wife or other near relative of the patient, or any other person who has attained the age of 21 years, may make application to the District Commissioner.
(2) In every such application the applicant shall state-
(a) that he believes that the person in respect of whom the application is made (hereinafter called "the patient") is mentally disordered or defective;
(b) the grounds on which he believes that the patient is mentally disordered or defective;
(c) the degree of consanguinity or affinity in which the applicant is related to the patient, and, if he is not the husband or wife or other near relative, the reason why the application is made by the applicant instead of by the husband or wife or near relative; and
(d) that the applicant has, within the 14 days immediately preceding the day on which the application was signed, personally seen the patient.
(3) No such application shall be submitted or transmitted to a District Commissioner more than 14 days after the day on which it is signed.
Upon receipt of an application for a reception order the District Commissioner may, in his discretion, himself visit the patient at the patient's place of abode or elsewhere and shall, whether or not he does so, obtain from a medical practitioner within a period which should not be more than 14 days a certificate upon the prescribed form as to the mental state of the patient.
Every District Commissioner to whom an application for a reception order is made in respect of any patient may, if he thinks fit, and if the patient will not appear voluntarily, at any time before the reception order has been made, authorize any police officer to apprehend that person and bring him before-
(a) a medical practitioner for the purpose of obtaining a certificate under section 6; and
(b) the District Commissioner to be examined and further dealt with in accordance with law.
All proceedings in relation to a reception order may be held in public or private at the discretion of the District Commissioner.
(1) If, upon consideration of the application and the certificates of the medical practitioner and after such further or other inquiry as the District Commissioner thinks necessary, he is satisfied that the patient is mentally disordered or defective and-
(a) is not under proper care, treatment or control;
(b) is cruelly treated or neglected by any relative or other person having the care or charge of him;
(c) is of suicidal or homicidal tendency or is in any way dangerous to himself or others;
(d) has committed or attempted to commit any crime or offence or has acted in a manner offensive to public decency; or
(e) if the person having the care, treatment or control of the patient consents,
the District Commissioner may issue a reception order in the prescribed form authorizing the patient to be removed to, and to be received and detained in, an institution or place of detention to be named in the order.
(2) The District Commissioner shall, at the time of issuing a reception order, determine to which class the patient belongs and shall endorse such determination on the order; and, in making such determination, he shall be bound by the opinion in the matter expressed by the medical practitioner in the certificate furnished under section 6 unless, as a result of an inquiry under subsection (1), the District Commissioner is satisfied that the opinion expressed cannot safely be relied upon in the circumstances of the case.
(3) The District Commissioner shall not issue a reception order authorizing the removal of a Class III patient to, or his reception and detention in, an institution unless with the prior authority of the Director.
(4) No reception order shall be granted unless the medical practitioner, on whose certificate it is proposed to grant such order, has personally examined the patient and issued the certificate
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