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Dementia and Human Rights – Part 5


We have probably done most of the important ones, but I will keep going through the others.  We are up to Article 12!


Article 12 – Right to Marry.  If you’re old enough and can consent, you can, if it is legal.  Probably pretty straightforward and if someone with dementia wants to marry, they can, if they can consent.


The issues around marriage are whether a person with dementia can truly consent.  Marriage also implies a sexual relationship and as already discussed in an earlier blog, there are a number of issues that relate to sex and it is not just about the physical act of sex itself.


There is no Article 13 in the Human Right Act, so moving on to Article 14 – Prohibition of Discrimination, this is about gender, race, age, religious etc discrimination.  But it is only in respect of these Rights.  So whilst there should be no breach of these Rights anyway, there should certainly not one on the basis of the race or religion, etc of a person.


The next one is Article 16 – Restrictions on political activity of aliens.  This will allow the state to put restrictions on the political activities of non citizens, not such a big issue in respect of people with dementia, but no doubt that it will affect some of them.


Article 17 – Prohibition of abuse of rights, this one is really an enforcement of these Rights, which is a Right in itself.  These Rights are intended to give “enshrined” Rights and to breach them would be a breach of Article 17.


Article 18 – Limitation on use of Restrictions on Rights, this is sort of the opposite side of Article 17.  There are some limitations on the Rights, but there cannot be extended or used in another way to limit Rights.


There are some more Rights in the Convention, but I’m going to leave it there for now, having had a brief run through the first few.  The issues around Human Rights can be complex and some of the Article Rights are more important than others for someone with dementia.


The key point about a person living with dementia, as I’ve said before, is that they are still a person.  We are all entitled to be treated with dignity and respect, we are all individuals with our own quirks and personal choices and opinions and all our differences should be embraced.