Psychologie & NeuroPsychiatrie du vieillissement


Voting by cognitively impaired persons: legal and ethical issues Volume 8, issue 1, mars 2010

Service de médecine interne, CHU Louis Mourier, AP-HP, Université Paris 7 Denis Diderot, Colombes

In democratic countries, cognitively impaired persons are a substantial and growing group of citizens. Most of them are citizens with dementia. In dementia, cognitive impairment induces a loss of some capacities, resulting in vulnerability and increased need for assistance. Voting by cognitively impaired persons raises any questions about the integrity of the electoral process, the risk of fraud and the respect of their citizenship. In France, the law is not definite about the voting of cognitively impaired persons. An objective assessment for voting capacity may be useful both for professionals in charge of voting organisation and for guardianship judge in order to help him in his decision to remove or keep the voting right of persons placed under guardianship. Assessing the reality of voting by cognitively impaired citizens is necessary to advance respect for their right to vote.