Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New European Commissioner for Human Rights Issue Paper on Guardianship

The EU Commissioner on Human Rights recently released this issue paper entitled "Who Gets to Decide?  Right to Legal Capacity for Persons with Intellectual and Psychosocial Disabilities."  The first two paragraphs give a flavor:
The right of persons with disabilities to make choices about their lives and enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others is one of the most significant human rights issues in Europe today. Being recognised as someone who can make decisions is instrumental in taking control over one’s life and participating in society with others. 
Having legal capacity enables us to choose where and with whom we want to live, to vote for the political party we prefer, to have our health care decisions respected, to control our own financial affairs and to have access to cinemas and other leisure activities. Without it we are non-persons in the eyes of the law and our decisions have no legal force. This is still the reality for hundreds of thousands, if not a million, Europeans with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities put under guardianship regimes.

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