People who are receiving treatment for cancer or who have had to have such treatment, as well as people who have a long-term, chronic or degenerative illness, are often prevented from realising their life plans. Obtaining a loan, for instance, can become impossible due to insurance companies’ refusal to cover the risks linked to such loans. While some member States have put in place systems designed to compensate for these situations, such systems are not in place everywhere and do not cover every case. Returning to work or reintegrating the labour force can also become an ordeal. The difficulties faced by women trying to rebuild their lives after breast cancer are a particularly striking example of this phenomenon.
Being confronted with a long, chronic or degenerative illness should not prevent those affected from continuing to live their lives and from enjoying, fully and without discrimination, the same rights as the rest of the population. This is issue is becoming increasingly important for our societies: as advances in the medical field make it possible to prolong life in more and more cases, it falls to our societies to guarantee human dignity, quality of life and the equal access to rights of everyone.
The Parliamentary Assembly should study the actions taken by member States to eliminate discrimination against people facing these types of illness. Based on its findings, the Assembly should provide member States with guidelines aiming to put an end to discrimination against these persons and promote good practices in this field.