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Empowering Choices: The 2024 Update on Ireland’s Assisted Decision-Making Acts

Assisted Decision-Making Acts

Assisted Decision-Making Acts.

The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 in Ireland, along with its subsequent amendments, has recently seen significant updates aimed at enhancing support for individuals needing help with decision-making due to capacity issues. As of April 2024, the full operation of these Acts is being implemented. This includes the operationalisation of the Decision Support Service (DSS), which now accepts applications for new decision support arrangements, and the complete abolition of the wardship system. Instead, a tiered range of decision support options like Decision Making Assistants, Co-decision makers, and Decision Making Representatives are available, along with mechanisms like the Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) and Advance Healthcare Directives.

The updated legislation aligns with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, advocating for a rights-based approach to decision-making. This shift marks a significant move from the previous paternalistic systems to one that supports and respects the autonomy and rights of individuals with diminished capacity, covering issues from temporary impairments to long-term conditions related to ageing or illness. Furthermore, it also includes progressive employment targets to increase the representation of persons with disabilities in the public sector.

For detailed guidance on the new system and to access resources or make applications, the Decision Support Service’s website is a useful point of contact. Additionally, the recent government statements and legislative documents provide further insights into the changes in Assisted Decision-Making Acts and their implications.

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