Why did you do that? Am I an invalid?
The criteria for depriving people of legal capacity are vague and set a very low threshold considering the overwhelming consequences of such a step. The law merely stipulates that a “person who cannot understand the meaning of his actions or cannot control them as a result of mental illness or weak-mindedness” may be declared incapable by a court. Even experts on this issue have failed to explain the criteria or even point to a source where these are clearly outlined.
Nikolai Klochkov has a diagnosis of “medium mental retardation” which seems to be because he has difficulty communicating. He is partially deaf and never received support to enable him to communicate either with sign language or by lip-reading. Despite these barriers, he is able to live independently with minimal assistance.
Nikolai is very good at mending mobile phones and hopes that in the future he might be able to work in a mobile phone repair shop. But right now as an “incapable” person he cannot actually get a job, he cannot enroll in a place of education, marry, apply to a court to defend his rights or vote in elections.
When we met him in February 2018 he was hopeful that he would be able to regain his legal capacity, start a family and be employed on an official employment contract. All those hopes were dashed when he “failed” the forensic medical examination in August 2018.
A psychiatrist who took part in the panel examining him informed the NGO that he did not show any evidence of “improvement” and there was no reason to question the past medical reports. On 17 September a court ruled that there was no “improvement in his mental state” and he, therefore, required guardianship.
Many people told Amnesty International that psychiatrists fear to contradict an existing diagnosis because that would imply that somebody had made a mistake.
November 14, 2018
Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence ...
Persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities in Kazakhstan face stigmatization and isolation from society ...