Saturday, September 13, 2014

A new book: The Law and Ethics of Dementia

Dementia is a topic of enormous human, medical, economic, legal and ethical importance. Its importance grows as more of us live longer. The legal and ethical problems it raises are complex, intertwined and under-discussed. This book brings together contributions from clinicians, lawyers and ethicists, all of them world leaders in the field of dementia and is a comprehensive, scholarly yet accessible library of all the main (and many of the fringe) perspectives. It begins with the medical facts: what is dementia? Who gets it? What are the current and future therapeutic and palliative options? What are the main challenges for medical and nursing care? The story is then taken up by the ethicists, who grapple with questions such as: is it legitimate to lie to dementia patients if that is a kind thing to do? Who is the person whose memory, preferences and personality have all been transformed by their disease? Should any constraints be placed on the sexual activity of patients? Are GPS tracking devices an unpardonable interference with the patient's freedom? These issues, and many more, are then examined through legal lenses. The book closes with accounts from dementia sufferers and their carers. It is the first and only book of its kind, and the authoritative text.
The book is edited by Charles Foster, Jonathan Herring, and Israel (Issi) Doron, and is published by HART Publication at Oxford.
Here is the link to the book:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The 1st Report of the Independent Expert on Human Rights of Older Persons

As was already reported, the UN Human Rights Council has nominated on June 2 2014, Ms Rosa Kornfeld-Matte to serve as the Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Older Persons.
The Independent Expert submitted its first report, and here is the link to the full text of the report.:

The Report includes background information regarding the foundation of the mandate of the Independent Expert, its scope of operation, the legislative context, and the global context of the human rights of older persons.
As little time has passed by since her nomination, this report is mostly descriptive and does not include any new or novel findings or recommendation.
However, here is the conclusion of this first report, which can indicate the spirit and direction that the IE wishes to pursue:

"The Independent Expert aims to respond to the expectations of numerous individuals and organizations with regard to her work on the human rights of older persons, as outlined by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 24/20. To that end, she looks forward to engaging in constructive and fruitful cooperation with diverse stakeholders in all regions. She emphasizes her desire for constructive engagement with the States Members of the United Nations, and reiterates the importance of an inclusive and all-encompassing approach in the discharge of her mandate. She particularly notes the central role of non-governmental organizations, including in providing her with information and engaging with and assisting her as she fulfils her mandate."

We wish the IE the best success in her work, and we will continue to report on her progress.