IRISH HOSPICE FOUNDATION AND NATIONAL COUNCIL OF THE FORUM ON END OF LIFE IN IRELAND TO PUSH FOR ADVANCE CARE DIRECTIVES IN NEW BILL
The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) and the National Council of the Forum on End of Life in Ireland today (Wednesday, 17th July) welcomed the publication of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013.
Sharon Foley, Chief Executive Officer of the IHF, said: “While we note the Government decision of 12 March 2013 and the commitment given today by Ministers Shatter and Lynch that advance care directives will be included at Committee Stage, we are surprised and disappointed that provisions for advance care directives are not included in the Bill as published. The inclusion of provisions for advance care directives in this Bill was a key recommendation of the Law Reform Commission and was accepted by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence. We will be seeking a meeting with the relevant Ministers to see how these essential provisions can be progressed and implemented as speedily as possible.”
Patricia Rickard-Clarke, former Law Reform Commissioner and a member of the National Council of the Forum on End of Life in Ireland, said that provision for advance directives was also a recommendation of the year-long public consultation carried out by the Forum in 2009-2010.
She commented: “Advance directives enable Irish people to express preferences and plan for their future care in the event that they may be unable to speak for themselves. Advance directives are legally binding in Irish law although currently there is no legislation underpinning such advance directives which gives rise to practical difficulties especially for people who wish to plan for care at the end of life. These directives are relevant for the vast majority of the population. We will do all we can to ensure that they are included without delay in this necessarily complex and technical piece of legislation”.
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