The Kerala High Court has observed that the government needs to facilitate chemical restraint of violent patients at mental health centres. Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan made the observation on Thursday in the context of the death of Satnam Singh, a youth from Bihar, at the Thiruvananthapu ram Mental Health Centre.

The judge visited the centre on May 25 and had discussions with members of the monitoring committee, district judge, district collector, district medical officers and the superintendent of the centre.

The judge was informed that the violent patients could be controlled by chemical restraints.

Chemical restraint refers to the quieting of violently psychotic persons by means of medication. The court said if chemical restraint was an accepted mode of practice, it should be used to restrain violet patients.

The court said the government should provide support staff and other facilities. The government had an obligation to facilitate chemical restraint at the medical health centres. The court then directed the State government to file a statement regarding the appointment of staff at the centres for introducing chemical restraint.

The court also said that a general physician was an inexcusable requirement at all mental health centres. The government was directed to file a statement regarding the posting of a general physician. The court also ordered that the patients who were fit for discharge could be handed over to the relatives.

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