Presentations

Brenda  Frederiks Voordrachten 

Overzicht
The Mental Health Act in the Netherlands: a Special Act for Persons with an Intellectual Disability, 30th World Congress of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health. June 28th, 2007, Padua, Italy.

Involuntary contraception for persons with an intellectual disability? Clarifying a public debate by studying legal and ethical aspects of a single case history. European Congress of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability, August 2th, 2006, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

From self determination to self development. Improving the quality of freedom restrictions. European Congress of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability, August 2th, 2006, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

The legal status of people with an intellectual disability: from restriction to development, 16th World Congress on Medical Law, August 9th, 2006, Toulouse, France. 

THE LEGAL POSITION OF PEOPLE WITH AN INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY: FROM RESTRICTION TO DEVELOPMENT 
Mr.Dr. B.J.M. Frederiks, VU University Medical Center b.frederiks@vumc.nl 

An important principle in international Health Law is the right to self-determination. This right has to be protected as much as possible. In the Netherlands, the right to self-determination is also the core of the health care system: a client has to decide for himself how he will shape his life. It is not an issue if a client has a psychiatric disorder or an intellectual disability. They all have the same rights. In this presentation the central question is: ‘is the legal position of people with an intellectual disability best protected if self-determination is the focus?’ This question will be answered by looking at one specific theme: freedom restriction. The Psychiatric Hospitals Act allows care providers to limit the right to self-determination. This Act creates the legal framework for applying freedom restriction in the care for people with an intellectual disability. The emphasis is on the right to self-determination: freedom restriction is only allowed if a client constitutes a danger to himself or to his environment. Research shows that the Psychiatric Hospitals Act does not benefit clients with an intellectual disability. Care providers find it difficult to work according to the strict principles of this Act. They feel that in many situations they are not allowed to intervene. In the care for people with an intellectual disability the emphasis must not only be on the right to self-determination, but also on providing good care and on the right to personal development. Care providers are, within the current legal framework, unable to provide the care they would like to give to clients, including freedom restriction. The object of providing good care is to offer a perspective to clients by applying the right combination of protection and self-determination. Freedom restriction can be an element of this type of care. The conclusion of recent research is that, especially in the care for people with an intellectual disability, the emphasis should shift from the right to self-determination to a more balanced approach, taking into account other values (good care, protection) as well.

An alternative legal framework for the application of freedom restrictive measures in the care of individuals with an intellectual disability in the Netherlands. 12th World Congress of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability, June 17th, 2004. Montpellier, France.

Freedom-restriction measures in the care of individuals with an intellectual disability in the Netherlands. 13th World Congress of Inclusion International, September 24th, 2002, Melbourne, Australia.

Legal status of incompetent patients in psycho-geriatric and intellectual disabled settings from a Dutch perspective. 14th World Congress on Medical Law, August 14th, 2002, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Legal status of people with an intellectual disability in Dutch health care. 11th World Congress of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability, August 5th, 2000, Seattle, USA.