Health. Consultation on the merits of the “Draft Additional Protocol to the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine on the Protection of the Human Rights and Dignity of Persons with Mental Disorders in respect of the involuntary placement and treatment “.

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1. STATE OF THE LAW.

In 2013, the Council of Europe’s Bioethics Committee started to develop a new Additional Protocol to the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (EIS No. 164, adopted in 1997, better known as the “Convention of Oviedo “).

This Additional Protocol is a legal instrument  to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with a serious mental disorder and who are in a situation of involuntary placement or treatment.

The general observation shows that Article 7 of the Oviedo Convention is not sufficiently clear.

This Article 7 stipulates that : “A person suffering from a serious mental disorder may be subjected, without his consent, to an intervention for the purpose of treating the disorder only when the absence of such treatment is likely to occur. seriously prejudicial to his health and subject to the conditions of protection provided for by law including monitoring and control procedures and remedies “.

This article leaves an important legal vacuum when, for a certain time, a person is not able to give his consent. This article provides for only one exception to the consent requirement. This exception is taken into account “only when the absence of such treatment may be seriously detrimental to his health”. In this situation, according to this article, the person must be “subject to the conditions of protection prescribed by law.

Everyday practice shows that involuntary placement or treatment raises a series of questions for the person concerned, as well as for staff working with them and their family or other caregivers.

As a Member of the Conference of INGOs, the European Observatory for Non-Discrimination and Fundamental Rights was asked to give its statement concerning a Draft Additional Protocol.

In relation with other Associations and NGOs committed in the Protection and Defence of persons with mental disorderthe European Observatory for Non-Discrimination and Fundamental Rights has proposed the following amendments in October 2018.

2. AMENDMENT PROPOSALS.

We considered that the proposed protection of persons with mental disorder as stated in the Draft Additional Protocol was not sufficient.

We have developed the following amendment proposals to the Bioethics Committee of the Council of Europe : 

The creation of an independent Public Authority in charge of places of deprivation and fundamental freedoms seems to us essential in every State. In France, it is the General Controller of places of deprivation and liberty. Its mission is to ensure the fundamental rights and dignity of persons deprived of their liberty (prisons, psychiatric institutions).

➡ We have underlined that it was necessary that the “person of trust” designated by a person with mental disorder should have no conflict of interests with the concerned person. We have also mentionned that when the person’s condition requires involuntary placement, it often means that she is unable to choose and discern a trusted person. Nevertheless we advocate that the right to choose a person of trust should be given to any person with mental health disorder.

Alternative measures to involuntary placement and treatment should be more promoted than they are mentioned in the Draft Additional Protocol. Indeed involuntary placement and treatment should remain an exception as they are always an additional trauma for the person concerned. We should always bear in mind that persons with mental disorder are vulnerable people.

➡ We also support that seclusion and restraintshould never be considered as a therapeutic treatment but as a medical decision. Alternatives measures should also be promoted as far as possible. Psychiatric interveners (physicians, health care providers, nurses…) should receive a good training concerning the management of violence to avoid the use of seclusion and restrain.

On the basis of our reflection above, we have proposed two following amendments :

Article 2 – Definitions  “Trusted person” means a person who has been chosen and expressly designated as such by a person with a mental disorder (…) “: add : ” and who does not have a conflict of interest with the patient “. 

Article 23 – Add a 3rd paragraph as follows:  “3. The law designates an independent public control authority, in charge of places of deprivation and freedoms. This public authority is in particular responsible for controlling the care provided to patients and is authorized to provide the necessary recommendations to the appropriate authority, and to the institutions concerned, to guarantee the dignity of patients. A representative of this public authority may speak at any time in private with patients who have undergone an involuntary measure”.

HANDILEX NETWORK. FRANCE.

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Access to Justice : founded in February 2017, the French HANDILEX Network brings together Lawyers and Experts around a mission : to help persons with disabilities to enforce their rights.

Actually, its mission is to relieve persons with disabilities and those around them from the administrative and legal disability management, from their accident, so that they can rebuild themselves in peace.

  • Jean-Armand MEGGLE, founder of Handilex, said : “We want to break down the barriers between the world of disability and the world of Law.”
  • Astrid Ronzel, Lawyer, said : “In Law, private property is better protected than the human body… Some practices have to Change”.
  • Antoine Cressaty, Business Manager:  “When you become disabled, you  face a monstrous administrative maze “.

Learn more : Solidarity with persons with disabilities – HandiLex – French Newspaper “La Vie” 

#OENDDF #HANDILEX #droitsfondamentaux #fundamentalrights #humanrights #handicap #inclusion #droit #justice #solidarité #nondiscrimination #égalité #equality

Inclusion and integration of persons with mental or intellectual disabilities. POLAND.

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Partnership with the National Association P.S.O.U.U. in POLAND

Since February 2015, to support non-discrimination policy against persons with mental or intellectual disabilities, and to promote inclusion of persons with disabilities, the European Observatory of non-discrimination and fundamental rights has agreed a partnership with the National Association PSOUU in POLAND to materially support very positive and very concrete actions to integrate persons with mental intellectual disabilities into society.

The objective of the Polish Association P.S.O.U.U. is to develop the inclusion of persons with mental or intellectual disabilities through work, from occupational workshop to professional work, by supporting at all levels an inclusive education policy.

To encourage the integration of persons with mental disabilities or intellectual disabilities into society, and in some situations into the Labour Market, the Polish Association PSOUU manages in POLAND :

  • 29 Intervention Centers at a very early age, for more than 11,000 children, with the aim of quickly making a precise diagnosis, with a multidisciplinary approach, from birth to 18 months in priority – up to 7 years when the diagnosis could not be realized when the child was young ;
  • 64 Centers of Rehabilitation and Education intended to support education and training of children with a severe disability, that does not allow them to qualify for integration into a normal school ;
  • 35 Centers for young persons with severe intellectual disability, even with multiple disabilities, to provide a specific supportive therapy tailored to their needs;
  • 84 Occupational Workshops, which aims to prepare young adults with intellectual disabilities to develop skills for a more independent live through work;
  • 4 Counselling Centers for persons with intellectual disabilities, which aims to prepare them to work in the usual places of work;
  • 30 Development Centers of artistic talents, relaxation and recreation for persons with mental disabilities; some paintings and works of art were even exhibited at the Contemporary Art Centre in Warsaw in 2003;
  • 26 Residential Structures that support older persons with intellectual disabilities, who do not have any family likely to offer them a place to live, and also young persons with disabilities whose families live too far from specialized Reception Centers day to be supported.

Initiatives and actions for an inclusive education policy of the Polish Association PSOUU are brilliant and concrete and can be cited as examples.

Learn more : http://psouu.cieszynski.info/o_nas/

Field for intervention targeted by the European Commission :  Access to housing – Accessibility – Employment – Education and Training – Equality – Social Protection – Health.

Warsaw, POLAND

VARSOVIE VILLE 2

Example of PSOUU brochure

Photo Brochure PSOUU 3 

Example of PSOUU Brochure

Photo brochure PSOUU

Example of PSOUU Brochure

Photo Brochure PSOUU 2

Inclusion and integration of persons with disabilities. FRANCE.

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Objective: Encouraging the access to housing of people suffering from physical or mental disabilities, their professional integration, their social promotion and their social inclusion.

Means and resources deployed : Closer working relationships and partnerships with the Associations of the European Union to support projects focusing on access to housing and professional integration of people with disabilities.  

May 2015 : the European Observatory for Non-discrimination and Fundamental Rights has committed itself to financial support for the French non-profit making Association THETIS, Non-Governmental Organisation of Public Utility since 1902, specialising in support and assistance for disabled people who are suffering from physical or mental disabilities, by focus on the « shared houses » Project of the SIMON de CYRENE FEDERATION : people with disabilities are living in communities shared with non-disabled adults.

Learn more about these Organisations at : http://www.thetis-nantes.fr/ and http://www.simondecyrene.org/

Field for intervention targeted by the European Commission :  Access to housing – Accessibility – Employment – Education and Training – Equality – Social Protection – Health.

Inclusion and integration of persons with disabilities. FRANCE.

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Objective: Encouraging the professional integration of people suffering physical, mental or psychological disability within society, and their social promotion. 

Location of action : NANTES, Loire-Atlantique, FRANCE.

Means and resources deployed:

Personalised assistance and support for specific disabled persons with a view to facilitating their professional integration within society through employment in addition to their social promotion.

– Personalised assistance for disabled people to encourage their professional integration within society through work and their social promotion: individualised discussions on issues such as the person’s personal and professional plans, help with writing CVs and accompanying letters, payment for the production of photographs by a professional photographer and personalised support and assistance during the interview stages with the CAP EMPLOI branches (the division of the French employment service POLE EMPLOI which deals with disabled people).

 

Photo Maylis En Route pour Cap Emploi

 

Inclusion and integration of persons with disabilities. BELGIUM.

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Objective : Encouraging the professional integration of people suffering physical, mental or psychological disability within society, and their social promotion. 

Means and resources deployed :

Closer working relationships and partnerships with the N.G.O.s of the European Union to cooperate on joint projects focusing on professional integration and the inclusion of disabled people.  

– January 23-25 2015 : the European Observatory for Non-discrimination and Fundamental Rights has committed itself to financial support for the Belgian N.G.O. ACTION DAMIEN, an internationally Non-Governmental Organisation, specialising in the fight against leprosy, tuberculosis, and Leishmaniasis, and their consequences concerning physical disability. Learn more about this N.G.O. at: http://www.actiondamien.be/