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IHF welcomes the commencement of the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act  

IHF welcomes the commencement of the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 (ADMA). After many years of tireless advocacy, the commencement of this legislation expands the definition of capacity significantly and allows individuals to retain their voice through all ages and phases of their lives.

The commencement marks a major transition for healthcare ethics, moving from practice in the “best interest” of people to following their known “will and preference”. Commencing this legislation is an essential step to ensure that people’ wishes are at the forefront of their care.

Significantly, the ADMA also governs Advance Healthcare Directives, which allow a person to record their treatment decisions and preferences for future care; and to name specific people who can refuse or consent to treatment on their behalf. The Think Ahead Planning Pack has always included Advance Healthcare Directives to ensure the autonomy of individuals during some of the most critical times of their lives.

Paula O’Reilly, CEO of IHF, says:

‘We congratulate our colleagues in the Decision Support Service, which officially opens today, and whose function it is to guarantee the rights of individuals to be supported in making their own decisions and having autonomy over their lives. We will continue our invaluable partnership with them as we educate communities and healthcare providers to support Advance Healthcare Directives no matter their setting or circumstance.’