Over the Christmas period the the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013 was signed into law finally repealing a number of antiquated legislative provisions dealing with the area of incapacity primarily the Lunacy Regulation (Ireland) Act 1871.
It is envisaged that it will take up to 12 months to commence all provisions of the new legislation including the setting up of the agency known as the decision support service within the Mental Health Commission. This new agency will supervise and handle complaints against decision-making assistants, co-decision makers, decision-making representatives, attorneys of enduring powers and designated healthcare representatives.
Any person who has been made a ward of court under the previous legislation will be reviewed within 3 years and eventually discharged, and a different order will be made based on the person’s capacity.
In addition for the first time under Irish law recognition will be given to advance healthcare directives under the new Act which will allow a person to set out their preferences in relation to their medical treatment as well as appointing a representative to take healthcare decisions on their behalf in the event they lose capacity.
An updated guide in relation the consequences and effect of the new Act will be available from our website for download shortly.