Topic: right to health of people with disabilities

The case concerned BP, an 83 years old man, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. BP is deaf, but he is able to communicate through a “communication board".

The application is brought, on his behalf, by his daughter FP, as his litigation friend and seeks to return BP to his home, with an appropriate package of support. The application is generated by the decision of the care home to suspend all visits from any family members due to the pandemic emergency. Moreover, the restriction has also extended to the medical assessment of BP’s capacity.

The Court develops an in-depth analysis of the implications arising from right to liberty and security (Art. 5 ECHR), right to respect for private and family life (Art. 8 ECHR) and from the International Convention on Rights of persons with disabilities in the specific context of the pandemic emergency. The Court considers that the restrictions have indeed an impact upon BP’s rights, but also notes that Art. 15 ECHR permits a derogation to these rights in case of public emergency.

Therefore, the Court rules that it is in BP’s best interest to remain in the care home (as only the daughter would had looked after BP at home). BP will maintain the contacts with his family members through communication technologies and the capacity assessment will be undertaken through the same means.



Lucia Busatta — University of Trento