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Title: The Voluntary Sterilisation Act: Best Interests, Caregivers, and Disability Rights
Authors: Chua, Hillary 
Issue Date: 30-Sep-2022
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
Citation: Chua, Hillary (2022-09-30). The Voluntary Sterilisation Act: Best Interests, Caregivers, and Disability Rights. Medical Law Review. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Abstract How can caregivers’ interests be balanced with disability rights in decisions about whether to sterilise an intellectually disabled person? This question is considered in the context of Singapore, a commonwealth country that lacks a test case. Singapore has a lesser-known history of eugenics, and has struck an uneasy compromise between communitarian values and obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in recent years. This article provides an overview of Singaporean law under the Voluntary Sterilisation Act 1974 and the Mental Capacity Act 2008, and compares this with the law in Canada, England and Wales, and Australia. This article also situates the CRPD in the context of Singapore’s dualist view of international law and communitarian approach to disability policy. It argues that CRPD rights to bodily integrity can be presumptively upheld in best interests determinations on sterilisation, while caregivers’ interests can be accommodated in a relational understanding of best interests. A decisional framework along these lines is proposed.
Source Title: Medical Law Review
ISSN: 0967-0742
DOI: 10.1093/medlaw/fwac036
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