Guidelines for medical care towards elderly patients with self-sufficiency disabilities

Position paper in french

When an elderly patient with a certain level of mental disability requests treatment at a medical facility, how should health care personnel proceed? To address this question, this working paper uses as a framework the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine: Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, as well as some national laws that embed some of the recent changes on the perception of mentally disabled elders and how their rights should be protected.

This paper suggests some general guidelines based on the abovementioned documents with the intention of leading healthcare personnel about the handling of frail patients and specially those with a degree of mental disability. On one hand, healthcare personnel must provide services to these patients following established protocols. On the other hand, they must respect their rights such as the right of information about their health condition and the respect of their self-determination to allow their own decision-making.