Project Details
Funding Scheme : General Research Fund
Project Number : 17615921
Project Title(English) : Deciding what is best for you: Best interest determinations on behalf of persons without capacity in the Chinese context 
Project Title(Chinese) : 代你決定:在華人社會為無精神行為能力人士做的最佳利益判斷 
Principal Investigator(English) : Miss Cheung, Tin Muk Daisy 
Principal Investigator(Chinese) : 張天目 
Department : Department of Law
Institution : The University of Hong Kong
Co - Investigator(s) :
Panel : Humanities, Social Sciences
Subject Area : Social and Behavioural Sciences
Exercise Year : 2021 / 22
Fund Approved : 443,426
Project Status : On-going
Completion Date : 31-12-2024
Abstract as per original application
The overarching research aim of this project is to develop a unified, coherent and principled concept of “best interests” for the purpose of decision-making on behalf of individuals without mental capacity in Chinese jurisdictions. This project will have a significant and demonstrable impact in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan, where developments on this issue have been minimal. It is a fundamental legal and ethical principle that all adults with mental capacity should be able to make decisions about their lives. Where an individual is deemed to lack mental capacity to make certain decisions, however, and the power to do so is taken out of her hands, a question arises as to how these decisions should be made on her behalf. Of the two major forms of substitute decision-making, decision-making on the basis of “best interests” has been the form of choice in western jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada (with the United States as a notable exception), and in Chinese jurisdictions such as Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. While the jurisprudence on best interest determinations in western jurisdictions has developed vastly over the past few decades, the developments in the Chinese context have been very limited. Although the “best interests” principle is often prominently featured in legislative provisions relating to mental health or guardianship, jurisprudence on what the concept entails is minimal, and the views and wishes of the individual are not consistently consulted. Because of the wide range of decisions that are frequently made on behalf of those without mental capacity, this is a gap that needs to be addressed urgently. My comparative project will be the first to systematically address this issue, and will do so in several stages. The first will involve mapping out what the current concepts of “best interests” are in the various Chinese jurisdictions, namely Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. The second stage will involve a consideration of the ethical underpinnings of these concepts in the Chinese context, exploring the extent to which they have been influenced by Chinese values and norms. The third stage will evaluate the extent to which these concepts are compliant with international and local legal obligations, and the final stage will involve the development of a unified, coherent concept of “best interests” sensitive to the Chinese context. I will write at least 2 journal articles and 1 conference paper to disseminate my research findings.
此研究的主要目的是要建立一套完整、有系統、具連貫性的「最佳利益」概念,為華人社會裡無精神行為能力的人作決定,從而推動香港、中國內地和台灣在「最佳利益」概念方面的發展。 不管是在法律還是道德的角度,任何具有精神行為能力的成年人都應該被賦予為自己生活作決定的權利,但當遇上沒有精神行為能力的人,我們應該怎樣為他們作決定呢?替代決策一般有兩種形式,其中一種是考慮沒有精神行為能力人士的「最佳利益」---- 這種方式在香港、中國內地、台灣、英國、澳洲和加拿大比較常見。綜觀過去數十年,在「最佳利益」概念的發展上,西方國家遠遠超越了中方國家。雖說「最佳利益」一概念經常出現在與精神健康和監護制度有關的法律上,清晰界定「最佳利益」的案例非常少,亦沒有一貫的考慮缺乏精神行為能力人士的意願;當法庭又常常要為這些人作一系列的決定時,必須馬上釐清與「最佳利益」概念相關的問題。 這將會是第一份有系統地探索「最佳利益」概念的比較研究,並分為幾個階段。第一階段將探討現時香港、中國內地和台灣對「最佳利益」的理解;第二階段將考慮「最佳利益」在中方背景下的倫理基礎,深入分析中方價值觀和規範對「最佳利益」的影響;第三階段將評鑑這些概念是否符合國際、以至本地的法律責任;第四階段將構思出一套適合華人社會的「最佳利益」概念。研究成功之後,將出版最少兩份期刊文獻和一篇會議論文。
Research Outcome
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