Interdisciplinary Seminar on Decision-Making in Persons with Disabilities

Class Mentors

This Class, Interdisciplinary Seminar on Decision-Making in Persons with Disabilities, was co-taught by Sieh-Chuen Huang (law) and Yee-San Teoh (psychology) at NTU, Taiwan and Dagmar Brosey (law) and Renate Kosuch (psychology) at TH Köln (Technical University of Cologne), Germany. In addition to the unique combination of instructors, we had 24 students from NTU and TH Köln respectively, including law, psychology and social work, of which the diversity highlights this seminar.

This interdisciplinary and international seminar aims to facilitate future legal professionals, psychologists, and social workers with critical thinking and cognitive flexibility. When dealing with legal issues related to persons with disabilities (PWD), it is necessary to communicate with the principal, family members and other professionals. An important component of this course is to enhance the experience in co-working with experts from different fields on these scenarios: supporting PWD in decision making, adult protection, supporting families and child protection. We pushed students to think from the perspectives from two disciplines –law and psychology, tackle problems in legal capacity and supporting PWD, and learn to exercise cognitive flexibility by discussing with their counterparts.

Acknowledgements: the UFO Project (University FOresight Education Project, MOE, Taiwan).

Members' Work

Students were divided into eight groups comprising law, psychology, and social work students from both NTU and TH Köln. Each group was assigned a case involving decision-making of PWD. They described current psychological/ legal framework, analyzed potential problems and proposed possible solutions according to criteria set out by instructors in English.

After discussion and preparation with group members, each group presented their analysis and opinions and received feedback from instructors and classmates.

Criteria for the presentation: 1. Present possible issues that need to be considered in each case; 2. Adopt a Person-centered approach 3. Consider perspectives from all disciplines and professions in the group 4. Suggest solutions in both the German and the Taiwanese context and justify/give reasons why you arrived at these solutions. 5. Raise problems that cannot be well solved within the current framework

Case I: Residence and Risk of Homelessness

Peter Y. has mental health issues and lives in an apartment in Cologne or in Taipei. He is supported by a professional Betreuerin who has as scope of function: financial affairs, affaires concerning administration and social welfare and affairs around the apartment, or is under assistance. One day Peter Y. expresses his decision to stop paying the rent for the apartment. The consequence of following this decision would be that he gets in delay with the payment and the landlord has the right to terminate the contract after two months.

The Betreuerin/the assistant tries to explain the situation and the risk of losing the apartment. Peter Y. then answers that he won´t lose the apartment because “somebody” told him paying the rent is not necessary. The Betreuer/the assistant decides to wait but after three weeks Peter Y. did not change his decision. He still is convinced that he does not have to pay the rent and may use the money for what he wants.

The Betreuerin/the assistant asks herself what is obliged to do. The Dilemma: If she does not organise the paying, the landlord will terminate the contract. Peter Y. likes his apartment very much and it would be very difficult to find a new apartment for him. Peter Y. does not want to live on the street or in an accommodation for homeless people.

Residence and risk of homelessness

Madita Dickmeis,Inga Ueckermann,Verena Burke,Hsin Jung Chun,Huang An Yuan,Sun Yu Chien
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Peter, a person under assistance in Taiwan & Germany

Tien, Yu-Tzu, Li, Yu-Lin, Xie, Dai-Ling, Friederike Basten, Nicole Görtz, Julia Peetz, Melinda Titze
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Case II: Health Care

Paul J. has a severe intellectual disability and no verbal communication. Care staff who knew him well noticed a deterioration in his behavior. In particular, they noticed that he was extremely protective of his face. They suspected toothache. However, he absolutely resisted letting anyone even come near his mouth. In attempts to find out what is wrong with him, it becomes clear that he completely resists any interference with his mouth. Later it turned out that he was indeed suffering from toothache.

The Betreuer/the guardian and the care staff ask themselves what is obliged to do.

German law of “Betreuung”

Li-Wun Chiu, En-chia Kou, Da-wei Lin, Christian Eilermann, Ghina Pertsch, Anna Schmidt
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Health Care

Isabell Regier, Cassey Ler, Nadine Thomé, Miriam Klotz, Douglas Chen, Rike Möller, Lorenzo Tseng
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Case III: Dementia and Refusing Care

Tina W. with dementia was fiercely independent. Above all, she insisted upon remaining in her own home. She believed the she could cope without assistance, and refused admit carers. In fact, only with such care could she be sustained in her own home. Her son sought a court order. Tina W. declared that she much loved her son, but did not need a representative and did not wish him to be appointed. The son was appointed as a Betreuer with powers to ensure that carers would be admitted and could properly perform their functions – or the son is appointed as an assistant, because otherwise her overriding desire to remain in her own home would not be sustainable.

The Betreuer or the assistant asks himself what is obliged to do.

How to Help Tina? SDM in people with dementia

Hsiao-Chun Lu, Ching-Yi Chen, Jia-Wei Cui, Celina Rosery, Jana Barbara, Judith Kinkel
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Dementia and refusing care

Marvin Büsselmann, Michaela Friedrich Chi-Jean Tang, Shao-Chia Li, Yi-Sheng Tseng
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Case IV: Family Planning

Anna T. is 23 years old and has Down syndrome. She lives with her parents and works in a facility for people with disabilities. Her mother is the Betreuerin (appointed by court) in the matters of property and health care, as well as authority matters – or her mother is the assistant (appointed by the court). Anna T. met 27-year-old Luis H. at her workplace. The two fell in love and have a relationship. Anna T’s mother is very worried that her daughter might get pregnant and then she would have to take care of the child. She wants to prevent pregnancy at all costs and wonders if sterilization or another contraceptive method is indicated as a precaution, or if she could stop contact between her daughter and her boyfriend altogether.

Anna T. and Luis H. say they want to have sex. They also want to live together and are considering marriage. Luis H. also has Down syndrome and lives in an assisted living. He has a professional Betreuer in the matters of property and health care, as well as authority issues – or he has an assistant.

What questions arise? How can Anna T. and Luis H. be supported so that their wishes are fulfilled? What role do both Betreuer/both assistants and their concerns play?

Family Planning I

Klara Gellrich , Anna Kallabis, Alena Stamler , Pei-Chi Tseng, Li-Chieh Wang , Pin-Yue Sung
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Family Planning II

Anne Birnbaum, Laura Sauer, Pia Baier, Syuan-Cing Huang, Su-Hsin Sun, Tai-Chen Hsiao.
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Behind Scenes

Our Fellows and More Information

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UFO Project Office

University FOresight Education Project (UFO Project) is a pilot, experimental, foresight and inter-disciplinary multiyear education project, initiated by the Department of Information and Technology Education, Ministry of Education under its midterm initiatives.

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Prof. Dr. Siehchuen Huang and the LLNTU

Professor Sieh-Chuen Huang is one of memtors of this class, a professor of civil law, National Taiwan University. She is the Host of the LLNTU--Lab. of Legal Analytics, Which devote itself on AI-legal Studies and win international legal information competition 2019.

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The Class, Legal Analytics

Another website co-teach class of the UFO-project. This focus on hybriding with legal studies and high tech (deep/machine learing). Designed by H.L.Shao(NTNU) and S.C.Huang(NTU).

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Dr. Prof. Hsuanlei Shao and the DHNTNU

He is a member of the UFO-project. Also, the host of DHNTNU, the Lab. Digital Humanities, National Taiwan Normal University

Ph.D., an associate Prof., the Dept. of Eastasia Studies (DEAS), NTNU.

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Website Maker

Website Architect and Script Maneger: Hsuanlei Shao

Html, Special Effects and Design: Tzuying Yang、Chihchuan Fan