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Public Consultation on Draft General Scheme for Advance Healthcare Directives for Incorporation into the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013

The Department of Health has developed a draft General Scheme of legislative provisions for advance healthcare directives to be incorporated into the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013.

Advance healthcare directives (sometimes referred to as living wills) are statements made by competent adults setting out their wishes in relation to the type and extent of medical treatments they would or would not want to receive in anticipation of future incapacity to make decisions. A prerequisite to making a valid advance healthcare directive is that the individual making one is an adult and that s/he has capacity.

Announcing the consultation, Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly TD said: “Advance healthcare directives represent an important means by which people can exercise their autonomy, which is an integral component of a patient-focused model of healthcare”.

In line with the principles of non-discrimination and equality before the law, as outlined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the legislative provisions for advance healthcare directives provide a single legislative framework, encompassing both general healthcare and mental healthcare.

The Department wishes to have views on the provisions and welcomes the comments of individuals, institutions, agencies, organisations, and groups on the issue. Accordingly, a discussion document on the legislative provisions has been prepared and is available for download below.

The Draft General Scheme for Advance Healthcare Directives is also available for download below.

Submissions should be no more than ten pages and can be submitted:

By E-mail to: advancedirectives@health.gov.ie

By Post to:

Bioethics Unit
Department of Health
Room 8.33
Hawkins House
Hawkins Street
Dublin 2

The closing date for submissions is Friday 7th March 2014 and will be strictly adhered to. All submissions received will be subject to the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 & 2003 and may be released in response to a Freedom of Information request.

Related Documents:

Draft General Scheme of Legislative Provisions to Provide for the Making of Advance Healthcare Directives

Discussion Paper on Draft General Scheme for Advance Healthcare Directives