Thursday, September 16

The Supreme Court maintains the assistance support to a person with Diogenes against his will

Detail of the facade of the Supreme Court.

Detail of the facade of the Supreme Court.

The First Chamber of the Supreme Court (TS) has applied for the first time Law 8/2021, of June 2, which reforms the civil and procedural legislation for the support for people with disabilities in the exercise of their legal capacity, and eliminates the guardianship of a person with a personality disorder, who suffers from Diogenes syndrome, but maintaining a conservatorship – welfare support – even against their will.

The resolution of the high court, presentation of the magistrate Ignacio Sancho Gargallo, applies the transitional regime of the law and analyzes the essential elements of the reform and, in particular, the regime for the provision of support that people with disabilities may require for the proper exercise of their legal capacity.

In the case that it resolves, the interested person suffers a personality disorder, specifically a conduct disorder that leads him to collect and accumulate garbage obsessively, while abandoning his personal hygiene and food care.

Both the Court of First Instance and the Provincial Court of Asturias, Under the previous regulations, they agreed, firstly, to modify their capacity and, secondly, a support measure consisting of assistance for order and cleaning of their home, with appointment as guardian of the competent autonomous community.

Now, the Chamber understands that this first pronouncement, after the reform of the Law 8/2021, should be deleted, since any judicial declaration of modification of the capacity disappears from the legal regulation. It then examines whether the support measure accommodates the new legal regime.

It considers that the personality disorder that affects the interested party directly affects the exercise of their legal capacity, also in their social and neighborhood relations, and highlights the need for the agreed care support measures.

Respect for autonomy

The sentence explains that although in the provision of judicial support, it is necessary to attend in any case to the will, wishes and preferences of the affected, in cases like this in which there is a clear need for care is justified.

The absence of this assistance causes a serious personal deterioration that prevents him from exercising his rights and the necessary relationships with the people around him, for which he argues that the adoption of assistance measures is justified, proportionate to the needs and respecting the maximum autonomy of the person. And this must be the case even against the will of the person concerned, because the disorder caused by the situation of need prevents them from having a clear awareness of their situation.

In fact, it points out that “not to intervene in these cases, under the excuse of respecting the will expressed against the affected person, would be social cruelty to abandon to their misfortune someone who, as a direct effect of a disorder, is not aware of the problem. personal degradation process that suffers “.

And it emphasizes that if that person were not affected by that pathological disorder, “I would agree to avoid or alleviate that personal degradation.”

Review every six months

Therefore, it is estimated in part the appeal, as soon as the declaration of modification of capacity is annulled, the guardianship is replaced by the guardianship, and, as regards the content of the support measures, they are confirmed and completed with some of the prosecutor’s proposals.

Specifically, the Supreme Court orders that every six months the results of the new measures and the practical impact they are having are reviewed. In addition, it advises that the person who attends should “strive to obtain the collaboration of the interested party” and points out that only in necessary cases “You will be able to obtain the essential aid to ensure medical and assistance treatment, as well as carrying out the necessary cleaning and hygiene tasks “.

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