In a move welcomed by Inclusion Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has urged member states to “immediately start to transition to the abolition of coercive practices in mental health settings”.
In a resolution and recommendation adopted unanimously the Assembly said mental health systems across Europe “should be reformed to adopt a human rights-based approach which is […] respectful of medical ethics and of the human rights of the persons concerned, including of their right to health care on the basis of free and informed consent”.
Inclusion Europe, alongside other organisations, has been objecting the draft additional protocol to the Oviedo Convention. If adopted, the protocol would authorise forced treatment and forced placement, notably in institutions of persons with disabilities, in particular persons with psychosocial disabilities. These practices are unacceptable under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The PACE resolution comes as very welcome development for the #StopOviedo campaign.
The Oviedo Convention
The Council of Europe’s Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, better known as the Oviedo Convention, is a European, legally binding instrument on the protection of human rights in the biomedical field.
It establishes that human rights must come before other considerations in the field of biomedicine. It lays down a series of principles and prohibitions concerning bioethics, medical research, consent, rights to private life and information, organ transplantation, public debate etc.
Despite its name, the “Draft Additional Protocol concerning the protection of human rights and dignity of persons with mental disorder with regard to involuntary placement and involuntary treatment”, would not protect such persons and would authorize some forms of involuntary placement and treatment of persons with disabilities.
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