The draft of the of the Armenian Government’s decision on " approving the procedure and conditions for carrying out voluntary medical sterilization", which was put into circulation by the Ministry of Health, was studied and analyzed by the Office of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia.
The provisions of the draft which are most more worrying are the ones which provide for the possibility of voluntary medical sterilization for incapacitated or partially incapacitated persons, and by a court decision in cases of the existence of medical indications.
Taking into consideration the fact that under the current system of incapacity of persons functioning in Armenia it is impossible to ensure the full informed consent of a person with mental health issues and to ensure the right to an effective appeal in court, it was suggested to abandon the proposed regulations regarding incapacitated or partially incapacitated persons. The above-mentioned is specially worrying, since it is related to a medical intervention that can have an irreversible consequences of the reproductive health of a person.
The above-mentioned is problematic from the viewpoint of human rights; it contradicts international legal acts, the case law of ECHR, the national legislation and the decision made by the Constitutional Court of Armenia.
During the analysis and study of the draft decision, uncertainties in the provisions were also raised regarding the responsibility of the medical institution to provide proper, complete accessible information to persons regarding sterilization, individual cases defined by the draft, their clear legal consequences, and other issues.
The draft is under review, and I hope that the competent Ministry will review it, to resolve the raised issues.
I declare the complete readiness of the Office of the Human Rights Defender to be involved in the reviewing process of the draft.
The Human Rights Defender
Ms. Kristinne Grigoryan