Legal capacity and proxy decision making
It is with great pleasure that I present the 2010 edition of the Dementia in Europe Yearbook. This publication combines our work on the ongoing Lawnet project which explores and provides an inventory of the legal provisions relating to the rights and protection of people with dementia within each member state of the European Union (as well as in Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey) with our Annual Report for 2009.
This year’s topic is proxy decision making (e.g. guardianship measures and con- tinuing powers of attorney) and various forms of legal capacity (e.g. relating to marriage, making a will, making a contract, voting, civil liability and criminal responsibility).
Once again, we have been able to count on the support of several legal experts who all shared their expertise freely. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my upmost gratitude to them as well as to Dianne Gove, the Information Officer of Alzheimer Europe who coordinated the collection of information. All of them contributed towards mak- ing this publication not only possible but also of a high quality and I encourage you to consult the acknowledgements section of the publication for details of the name of each legal expert for each country covered.
I hope that this body of information will serve to empower people with dementia and their carers by ensuring that they are aware of their rights and of certain legal measures designed to offer some form of protection. However, such information may also be of interest to service providers, researchers and policy makers.
By raising awareness of legal provisions in different member states, those states which are in the process of amending or drafting new legislation may benefit from the knowledge of legal provisions in other countries and consider whether their own laws are in line with current standards and if not, whether certain features could be adopted or adapted.
I am delighted that we were able to carry out this inventory and publish our findings as an integral part of our 2010 Work Plan which has received funding from the European Union, in the framework of the Health Programme.
Finally, I would like to thank Fondation Médéric Alzheimer for their continued support for our Lawnet project which made it possible to carry out this important work and to publish the results.
Last Updated: Tuesday 27 March 2012