Disability-neutral unwanted interventions. Aligning involuntary treatment and guardianship with the UN Disability Convention.

Project Details


More than anyone else, persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities face unwanted
interventions – interventions that a person does not want or would not have wanted. Most of the
time, involuntary treatment and guardianship laws are used to justify them. According to the UN
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the criteria traditionally used in these
laws are not 'disability neutral'. Thus, the laws either exclusively apply to persons with disabilities or
disproportionately affect them because they are are based on mental capacity testing.
Unwanted interventions must be disability-neutral. While it is clear that most current laws are not,
little is known on how to alter them. First, it is unclear what 'disability-neutral' really means. Second,
there is no knowledge on how involuntary treatment and guardianship laws could be made 'disabilityneutral'. Without that knowlegde, they cannot be aligned with the CRPD.
This project reveals how involuntary treatment and guardianship laws can be redesigned. An
evaluative framework for disability-neutral interventions is developed to test if existing unwanted
interventions as a reaction to imminent harm (‘necessity-based’) or a specific problem (‘problembased’) are disability-neutral alternatives for unwanted interventions based on a disability and/or a
lack of mental capacity. If they are, they are transformed into pathways to align guardianship and
involuntary treatment laws with the CRPD.
Effective start/end date1/01/2431/12/27


  • UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Right to legal capacity
  • Psychosocial and intellectual disabilities

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Law not elsewhere classified
  • Family law
  • Civil law
  • Human rights law


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