South Australian Current Acts

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        (1)         Subject to this section, but despite any other Act or law, ECT must not be administered to a patient unless—

            (a)         the patient has a mental illness; and

            (b)         ECT, or a course of ECT, has been authorised for treatment of the illness by a psychiatrist who has examined the patient; and

            (c)         written consent to the treatment has been given—

                  (i)         if the patient has attained 16 years of age and is capable of making decisions on his or her own behalf—by the patient; or

                  (ii)         if the patient has attained 16 years of age but is incapable of making decisions on his or her own behalf—

                        (A)         in the case of a patient who has given an advance care directive under which a substitute decision-maker has been appointed—by each substitute decision-maker appointed under the advance care directive or by the Tribunal on application under this section; or

                        (B)         in any other case—by a medical agent or guardian of the patient or by the Tribunal on application under this section; or

                  (iii)         if the patient is under 16 years of age—by a parent or guardian of the patient or by the Tribunal on application under this section.

        (2)         Consent to a course of ECT must be limited to a maximum of 12 episodes of ECT and a maximum period of 3 months, and any second or subsequent course of ECT for a patient must be separately consented to after the commencement or completion of the preceding course.

        (3)         ECT administered to a patient in order to determine the correct dose for future episodes of ECT in a course of treatment must be counted as a single episode of ECT in that course of treatment for the purposes of this section.

        (4)         The following provisions apply in relation to consent given to the administration of ECT treatment:

            (a)         the consent extends to the administration of anaesthetics required for the purposes of the ECT treatment;

            (b)         the consent does not extend to the use of any force for the purposes of administering the ECT treatment;

            (c)         consent may be withdrawn at any time by the person by whom consent has been given.

        (5)         An application for the Tribunal's consent under this section may be made by a medical practitioner or mental health clinician.

        (6)         Consent to a particular episode of ECT is not required if a psychiatrist considers that—

            (a)         the patient has a mental illness of such a nature that administration of that particular episode of ECT is urgently needed for the patient's well-being; and

            (b)         in the circumstances it is not practicable to obtain that consent.

        (7)         A psychiatrist who administers or authorises the administration of an episode of ECT to a patient, either with consent under subsection (1) or without consent in reliance on subsection (6), must ensure that the Chief Psychiatrist is sent or given, within 1 business day, a written notice in the form approved by the Minister—

            (a)         advising the Chief Psychiatrist of that action; and

            (b)         containing any other information prescribed by the regulations.

        (8)         A person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: $50 000 or 4 years imprisonment.

        (9)         In this section—

            (b)         a reference to an episode of ECT is a reference to a period during which ECT stimuli are administered under a continuing general anaesthetic.

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