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Respect the Rights of People with Disabilities

This petition had 57 supporters


People with disabilities, including those in the psychiatric system, should be allowed to make their own decisions about their treatment. There's even a UN Convention aimed at protecting this right! Yet the Canadian government refuses to respect this right, and by doing so is undermining the rights of people with disabilities. If you think the Canadian government should respect the rights of people with disabilities to make their own decisions about treatment, please sign the petition.

In 2008, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) entered into force. This convention was written to protect the rights of persons with disabilities, and to provide guidance to countries as to what comprises respectful, dignified and equal treatment.  States who sign the Convention are obliged to take measures to comply with the Conventions. While 132 countries have ratified the Convention and signed it without reservations or objections, Canada has signed it but with an important reservation .

Canada’s Reservation allows it to say they have signed the Convention, while giving it the ability to ignore one of the Convention’s most important Articles: that which pertains to people with disabilities making their own decisions about their treatment. Canada’s reservation allows for ‘substitute decision-making,’ meaning that if a person with a disability doesn’t want a particular treatment, they can still be forced to take it. This has grave implications for people who are experiencing the psychiatric system, who can be forcibly drugged, electroshocked or subjected to treatments for which they do not give permission. This is in direct violation of the UN Convention’s Article 12 which states that persons with disabilities have the right to “enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life.” This includes their ability to consent or not consent to treatment.



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