PROVISIONS FOR THE ADMISSION AND DETENTION OF PERSONS OF UNSOUND MIND IN MENTAL HOSPITALS
28. The Minister may establish or license the establishment of mental hospitals for the detention or treatment of persons of unsound mind at such places as he thinks fit.
—(1) The management of every mental hospital and the care and the custody of its patients shall be regulated according to such rules as shall from time to time be made under this Act by the Minister.
(2) The Minister shall appoint for every mental hospital not less than 12 visitors 6 of whom shall be medical officers.
30. Two or more visitors, one of whom shall be a medical officer, shall once at least in every month together inspect every part of the mental hospital or hospitals of which they are visitors, and shall see and examine, as far as circumstances will permit, every patient therein and the order and certificate for the admission of every patient admitted since the last visitation of the visitors, and shall enter in a book to be kept for that purpose any remarks which they may consider proper in regard to the management and condition of the mental hospital and the patients therein.
—(1) A person may be admitted to a mental hospital and there detained for treatment in accordance with the provisions of this Act for the period allowed by the provisions of this Act.
(2) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as preventing a person who requires treatment for any mental disorder from being admitted to a mental hospital without any order or directive rendering him liable to be detained at a mental hospital or from remaining in a mental hospital after he has ceased to be so liable to be detained.
32. It shall be the duty of every police officer to apprehend any person who is reported to be of unsound mind and is believed to be dangerous to himself or other persons by reason of unsoundness of mind and take such person together with a report of the facts of the case without delay to —
any medical officer for an examination and the medical officer may thereafter act in accordance with section 34; or
any medical officer at a mental hospital and the medical officer may thereafter act in accordance with section 35.
—(1) If it appears to a Magistrate on the report of a police officer or on the information of any person that any person supposed to be of unsound mind is not under proper care and control or is cruelly treated or neglected by any relative or other person having the charge of him, the Magistrate may send for the person supposed to be of unsound mind and summon the relative or other person as has or ought to have the charge of him, and the Magistrate may after due inquiry make an order for the person to be sent to a medical officer at a mental hospital for treatment and the medical officer may thereafter act in accordance with section 35.
(2) It shall be the duty of every police officer to report to a Magistrate every such case of neglect or cruel treatment as specified in subsection (1) which may come to his knowledge.
(3) Any police officer not below the rank of sergeant may visit any person supposed to be of unsound mind in the care of any friend or relative of the person for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the person is under proper care and control or is cruelly treated or neglected by any relative or other person having the charge of him, and any such friend or relative shall be legally bound to produce the person for the inspection of the police officer and in the event of his refusing to do so shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000.
34. Where a registered medical practitioner has under his care a person believed to be of unsound mind or to require psychiatric treatment, he may send the person to a medical officer at a mental hospital for treatment and the medical officer may thereafter act in accordance with section 35.
—(1) A medical officer at a mental hospital who has examined any person who is suffering from a mental disorder and is of the opinion that he should be treated as an inpatient at the mental hospital may sign an order in accordance with Form 1 in the Schedule for the admission of that person into the mental hospital for treatment and that person may be detained for a period of 72 hours commencing from the time the medical officer signed the order.
(2) A patient who has been detained for treatment pursuant to an order made under subsection (1) may be detained for a further period of one month commencing from the expiration of the period of 72 hours referred to in that subsection if before the expiration of the period of 72 hours the patient has been examined by another medical officer of the mental hospital and the medical officer is of the opinion that the patient requires further treatment at the mental hospital; and the medical officer shall sign an order in accordance with Form 2 in the Schedule.
(3) A patient who has been detained for treatment pursuant to an order made in accordance with subsection (2) shall not be detained for any further period at the mental hospital for treatment unless before the expiration of the period of one month referred to in that subsection, the patient has been brought before two medical officers, one of whom shall be a psychiatrist, who shall examine the patient separately and who are both satisfied that he requires further treatment at the mental hospital; and each of the medical officers shall sign an order in accordance with Form 3 in the Schedule.
(4) Two orders signed in accordance with subsection (3) shall be sufficient authority for the detention of the patient to whom they refer for a period not exceeding 12 months commencing from the date of the order.
(5) A person shall not be detained at a mental hospital for treatment unless —
he is suffering from a mental disorder which warrants the detention of that person in a mental hospital for treatment; and
it is necessary in the interests of that person’s health or safety or for the protection of other persons that that person should be so detained.
36. A registered medical practitioner who is the husband, wife, father, father-in-law, mother, mother-in-law, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, sister or sister-in-law of, or who stands in any fiduciary relationship to, the patient shall not sign any order under this Act.
—(1) Subject to the provisions of any other written law, the medical superintendent or a psychiatrist may by writing under his hand order the discharge of any patient.
(2) The power to order a discharge of a patient conferred upon the medical superintendent or psychiatrist by this section shall also apply to a patient committed to the hospital under section 25.
—(1) It shall be the duty of the visitors of every mental hospital, upon being satisfied by the report of the medical superintendent and by personal inspection that any patient detained under section 35(3) should be further detained for care and treatment, to make application in accordance with Form 4 in the Schedule to a Magistrate for an order of detention, and the Magistrate may thereupon, with or without further inquiry at his discretion, sign a detention order in accordance with Form 5 in the Schedule ordering the patient to be detained in a mental hospital for care and treatment. Such order shall be sufficient authority for the further detention of the patient for a period not exceeding 12 months.
(2) The visitors may, when making an application for an order of detention under this section, order by endorsement upon the detention orders made under section 35(3) that the patient be detained until the order of detention has been received or until the Magistrate has made other order in the case, and such endorsement shall be sufficient authority for the detention of the patient during such period.
(3) Where a patient has been detained at a mental hospital pursuant to an order made by a Magistrate under this section, the visitors of the mental hospital, upon being satisfied by the report of the medical superintendent and by personal inspection that the patient should be further detained at the mental hospital for care and treatment, may make a further application or applications to a Magistrate for an order of detention and subsection (1) shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to such an application or applications. 1
1 Section 38 in the 1970 Edition was repealed by Act 52 of 1973.
39. Subject to the provisions of any other written law, two of the visitors, of whom one shall be a medical officer, may by writing under their hands order the discharge of any patient.
—(1) Two of the visitors of a mental hospital, upon the recommendation in writing of the medical superintendent in charge of the hospital, may permit a patient to be absent from that hospital as long as they think fit.
(2) If before the expiration of the period of absence the certificate of two medical officers that it is no longer necessary that the patient be detained in the hospital for care and treatment is forwarded to the medical superintendent or the visitors of the hospital, the patient shall be deemed to be discharged therefrom.
(3) If upon the expiration of the period of absence the patient does not return to the hospital, and no such certificate as is referred to in subsection (2) has been received, the patient may be retaken as in the case of an escape, provided that not more than 28 days have elapsed since such expiration.
(4) The medical superintendent may permit a patient to be absent from such hospital for any period not exceeding 6 months, and if upon the expiration of the period of absence the patient does not return to the hospital the patient may be retaken as in the case of an escape.
41. The Director of Medical Services may by order in accordance with Form 6 in the Schedule order the removal of any patient from any mental hospital in Singapore to any other mental hospital in Singapore, and the order shall be sufficient authority for the removal of the patient and also for his reception into the hospital to which he is ordered to be removed.
—(1) Where an alien or any person not domiciled in Singapore is detained as a person of unsound mind and it appears expedient that he should be removed to the country of which he is a national or in which he is domiciled, the Minister if satisfied that his removal is likely to be for his benefit, and that proper arrangements have been made for the removal and for his subsequent care and treatment, may, by warrant, direct the person of unsound mind to be delivered to the person named in the warrant for the purpose of removal to the country of which he is a national or in which he is domiciled, and every such warrant shall be obeyed by the person or authority having the charge of the person named therein.
(2) A warrant under this section shall be sufficient authority for the master of any vessel or captain of any aircraft to receive and detain the patient on board such vessel or aircraft for the purpose of conveying him to his destination.
43. Any order of removal made under section 42 shall be addressed to the medical superintendent of the mental hospital in which the patient is at the time detained and shall direct him to deliver up the patient to the person mentioned in the order at such place and in such manner as may be specified in that order for the purpose of such removal; and the patient shall be delivered up accordingly.
44. Any patient removed from Singapore under this Act shall not return to Singapore except by permission of the Minister.
—(1) Whenever any foreign government makes a representation to the Minister that it is expedient that a person of unsound mind should be removed to Singapore, there to be detained for the purpose of temporary treatment or pending transfer to his country of origin or elsewhere, the Minister may in his discretion permit the entry of that person into Singapore for those purposes.
(2) If a person of unsound mind is admitted into Singapore under this section, the Minister may by warrant under his hand in accordance with Form 7 in the Schedule direct such person when brought into Singapore to be received therein and conveyed to a specified mental hospital and to be there detained until discharged in due course of law or until further order.
(3) No person shall be received into Singapore under this section unless he is accompanied by —
a certificate in accordance with Form 8 in the Schedule which shall be signed by a medical practitioner in the service of the government of the place from which he was removed; and
a statement in accordance with Form 9 in the Schedule,
and unless that government has made provision to the satisfaction of the Minister for the payment of all expenses incurred or to be incurred by Singapore in the reception, maintenance and detention of that person, and in returning him to the place from which he was removed or transferring him to any other place, and otherwise in relation to that person.
(4) The representation mentioned in subsection (1) may be in accordance with Form 10 in the Schedule.
(5) Every warrant purporting to be issued in pursuance of subsection (2) and to be under the hand of the Minister shall be received in evidence in every court of Singapore without further proof and shall be evidence of the facts therein stated, and all acts done in pursuance of the warrant shall be deemed to have been authorised by law.
46. Persons of unsound mind received into Singapore under section 45 shall be subject to the law for the time being in force in Singapore relating to the custody and control of the persons and estates of persons of unsound mind and to their discharge from custody:
Provided that where any such person is so discharged he may, if he so desires, be returned to the place from which he was removed.
47. If after the reception of any patient into a mental hospital it appears that the order or orders or the medical certificates upon which he was received is or are defective or incorrect, the order or certificate may at any time afterwards be amended, with the sanction of the medical superintendent, by the person or persons signing the order or certificate. An amendment made under this section shall be effective as from the date of the reception.
48. Every person received into a mental hospital under any such order as is required by this Act accompanied by the requisite medical certificate may be detained therein until he is removed or discharged as authorised by this Act, and in case of escape may, by virtue of the order, be retaken within 28 days of the escape by the medical superintendent, or any officer or servant of the hospital or any other person authorised by the medical superintendent or any police officer, and conveyed to and received and detained in that hospital.
49. Any movable property which may be in the possession of a person of unsound mind found wandering at large may be sold by order of a Magistrate, and the proceeds thereof (or such part of the same as may be necessary) applied towards the payment of the charge of the lodging and maintenance of that person and of any other expenses incurred on his behalf.
50. If any patient detained in a mental hospital under the provisions of this Part has an estate applicable to his maintenance, or if any person legally bound to maintain the patient has the means to maintain him, the medical superintendent may apply to the court for an order for the payment of the cost of maintenance of the patient.
—(1) The court shall inquire into the matter in a summary way, and on being satisfied that the patient has an estate applicable to his maintenance, or that any person is legally bound to maintain and has the means of maintaining the patient, may make an order for the recovery of the cost of maintenance of the patient, together with the costs of the application, out of the estate or from that person.
(2) Such order shall be enforced in the same manner and shall be of the same force and effect and subject to the same appeal as a judgment or order made by that court in a suit in respect of the property or person therein mentioned.
52. The liability of any relative or person to maintain any person of unsound mind shall not be taken away or affected by any provision in this Act.
—(1) Any attendant, nurse, servant or other person employed or rendering voluntary service in any mental hospital who ill-treats or wilfully neglects any patient shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both.
(2) Any person who has sexual intercourse or attempts to have sexual intercourse with any female person of unsound mind under care or treatment in a mental hospital, while in that hospital or on leave from that hospital, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both.
(3) No consent shall be any defence in any proceedings for an offence under subsection (2) if the accused knew or had reason to suspect that the person in respect of whom the offence was committed was a person of unsound mind under care or treatment in a mental hospital or on leave from that hospital.
(4) If on the trial of any person for rape the court is satisfied that the accused is guilty of an offence under subsection (2), but is not satisfied that he is guilty of rape, the court may acquit him of rape and find him guilty of that offence, and in that event he shall be liable to be punished as if he had been convicted on a charge for that offence.