(1) Subject to this
section, but despite any other Act or law, ECT must not be administered to a
patient has a mental illness; and
or a course of ECT, has been authorised for treatment of the illness by a
psychiatrist who has examined the patient; and
written consent to the treatment has been given—
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
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;
(B) in any other case—by a
medical agent or guardian of the patient or by the Tribunal on application
under this section; or
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
(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
(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
consent extends to the administration of anaesthetics required for the
purposes of the ECT treatment;
consent does not extend to the use of any force for the purposes of
administering the ECT treatment;
consent may be withdrawn at any time by the person by whom consent has been
(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
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
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—
advising the Chief Psychiatrist of that action; and
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
reference to an episode of ECT is a reference to a period during which ECT
stimuli are administered under a continuing general anaesthetic.