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Laws 2015, 4(4), 709-728; doi:10.3390/laws4040709

The Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Article 12: Prospective Feminist Lessons against the “Will and Preferences” Paradigm

The Ethox Centre, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Old Road Campus, Oxford OX3 7LF, UK
Academic Editor: Rhonda Powell
Received: 22 October 2015 / Revised: 2 November 2015 / Accepted: 5 November 2015 / Published: 12 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Intersection of Human Rights Law and Health Law)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [445 KB, uploaded 12 November 2015]

Abstract

Human rights have recently impacted on current conceptualisations of the rights and obligations owed to individuals with impairments, culminating in the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Particularly significant is Article 12, where interpretations have heralded a “will and preferences” paradigm which rejects substituted decision-making mechanisms, even in situations where an individual should make personally harmful or unwise decisions about their treatment, care, or relationships. This paper explores problems with “strict” and “flexible” interpretations of Article 12, focusing specifically on safeguarding issues in cases of relational abuse, exploitation, and coercion. Drawing analogies with feminist arguments opposing violence against women in the domestic sphere, I challenge the private/public and individualistic account of autonomy which is implicit in interpretations of the “will and preferences” paradigm, and suggest that proponents of Article 12 should consider the possible justifiability of expanded protectionist measures in cases of abuse involving individuals with impairments. View Full-Text
Keywords: UNCRPD; supported decision-making; autonomy; human rights; impairments; abuse; feminism UNCRPD; supported decision-making; autonomy; human rights; impairments; abuse; feminism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kong, C. The Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Article 12: Prospective Feminist Lessons against the “Will and Preferences” Paradigm. Laws 2015, 4, 709-728.

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