We welcome the President signing the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Bill 2022 into law. This important law is long overdue and very much needed as it maximises a person’s capacity to make decisions through all stages of their life, including through the legal protection of Advance Healthcare Directives.
We have campaigned for the development and full commencement of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Bill 2022. This legislation sets out the right to have an Advance Healthcare Directive recognised in law and is a key part of the Act which we advocated to have included. In an Advance Healthcare Directive, an individual records their healthcare decisions for such a time when they may not be able to make or communicate those choices. They also appoint another person to communicate their healthcare decisions on their behalf if such a time comes. Our work educates the public as well as healthcare systems on advance care planning, ensuring that the public have the tools and resources they need and that our healthcare systems can respond appropriately to the commencement of the Act. Our Think Ahead Planning Pack, launched in October by Dr. Tony Holohan, contains accessible information and resources that the public can use to plan ahead.
We also welcome that the Decision Support Service will now be operational. We wish them the very best in their important roles providing information and support to people accessing the new decision support arrangements, as well as providing guidance to the many different organisations to which this law brings about a number of important changes. We look forward to continuing our work with the Decision Support Service as the law takes effect and changes the lives of many.