Thursday, Apr 2, 2015Thursday, Apr 2, 2015

Sterilisation law updated to protect mentally disabled

Published on Oct 16, 2012 10:08 PM

THE law on voluntary sterilisation has been updated to better protect the mentally disabled.

The change means that persons with mental or hereditary illnesses, who still have the mental capacity to consent to sterilisation, now have the power to do so. Previously, the Voluntary Sterilisation Act stated that for such individuals, the power of consent lay with their spouse, parent or guardian.

The change aligns the Act with the Mental Capacity Act and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Singapore aims to sign by the end of the year.

The new law also requires a court order for the sterilisation of anyone lacking mental capacity, not just the consent of the spouse, parent or guardian, as was the case in the past.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!