Human rights in situations of (extreme) dependency (VUB HOA)
The aim of this research proposal is to analyze the dynamics of relations of (extreme) institutional dependency and the influence of human rights standards and legislation on these relations. It will focus on two case studies, health care institutions and prisons, through an integration of different scientific disciplines: human rights, legal theory, sociology of law, criminology, forensic psychology, end of life care and decisions, oncology.
-Literature study about: human rights, prisoners’ rights, rights of patients, of elderly people, of legally incapables (mentally ill), case law concerning acceptability of human suffering, legal capacity of detainees (e.g. for euthanasia), legal theory, rights development, cultural differences and human rights, concepts of justice at work in Western society.
-Socio-legal and criminological empirical research: mixed-method approach combining qualitative research (observations, semi-structured interviews with staff and inhabitant) and quantitative research (psychological assessment by means of interviews and questionnaires to evaluate emotional distress in prisoners and inhabitants in health care institutions).
-Selection of institutions: health care institutions (including at least one hospital and one home for elderly people), and prisons (including one prison with life sentence prisoners and one institution with mentally offenders). Comparison with extra mural population: in health care (home care, including day care centers) and in prisons (e.g. offenders released for medical reason)
Projectpartners: Department of Law and Criminology VUB: Penology Research: Prof. S Snacken , Law Science Technology & Society: Prof. S. Gutwirth, Fundamental Rights and Constitutionalism: Prof. P. De Hert; Department Supportive & Palliative Care, UZ Brussel-VUB: Prof. W. Distelmans; Department of Public Health VUB, End-of-Life Care Research Group Ghent University & VUB: Prof. J. Bilsen.
Please contact Sonja Snacken or Johan Bilsen