General overhaul of a protection measure

By Christian BlockLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

Thousands of people in Luxembourg depend on another person to make decisions for them or with them - for their own protection. It is not only professionals in this sector who have high expectations of the modernisation of the "tutelle" legislation, which has been announced by the government for years now.

When Nico Roesgen went to court to apply for guardianship of his then adult son Luc, he had imagined things differently. “I regretted that the process was comparatively meagre. You basically don't get much information. Not even later”, says the 70-year-old.

The Roesgen family, that is Monique and Nico with their total of seven children as well as 20-year-old Luca, who was taken in as a foster child. The couple has adopted five children over the years, three of them with disabilities. Nico Roesgen is the guardian of Luc (36), Daniel (35) and Anouchka (21). For the couple, it is clear that the “tutelle” is the right instrument to protect their children, as they are easily influenced. The law therefore provides, for example, that a contract signed without the guardian's consent can be rescinded at no extra cost to the person concerned.

In practical terms, the administration of the guardianship does not cause Nico Roesgen much trouble. The two oldest, Luc and Dan, both in their mid-30s, live in institutions. If they go on holiday from there, for example, or if a vaccination has to be administered, as is currently the case against Covid-19, or if it is a matter of medical treatment, the guardian must give his permission for this. Nevertheless, Nico Roesgen would welcome if there were a contact point or even a brochure in an easy-to-understand language that could provide answers to the many families in which the partner, one of the children, a brother or a sister devotes himself to this task. If a person receives the Revis income and lives in an institution, then the matter is comparatively clear and easy to manage. If, on the other hand, a person is wealthy and perhaps also owns a property or two, “then you have to be careful what you do”, Nico Roesgen points out. After all, it is important to protect the interests of the person in question. For example, what procedure is planned in case something should happen to Nico Roesgen one day. Or what happens if one of the children suddenly becomes seriously ill and the question arises whether life-sustaining measures should be used. “Can I make that decision?”, asks the pensioner. A situation that could possibly cause a dilemma between the role of the father, who wants to see his child released from possible agony, and that of the guardian.

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