Seanad debates

Friday, 20 March 2020

An Bille Sláinte (Caomhnú agus Cosaint agus Bearta Éigeandála eile ar mhaithe le Leas an Phobail), 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages

 

11:00 am

Photo of Alice Mary HigginsAlice Mary Higgins (Independent) | Oireachtas source

We have referred to those who refuse. As Senator Devine said, there are also those who may not have the capacity to understand what is being asked of them for different reasons and at different times. It is not simply bad intention in many cases. For example, people with dementia are likely to be among those in respect of whom these powers may be used. That is why the advocacy piece is important. As one can imagine, for those with mental health difficulties a week or two weeks in an unknown situation can cause extraordinary levels of distress. That is why there must be that medical advice. I would like the Minister to link with us on the regulations.For example, if somebody who is an expert in infectious diseases makes a determination, that is fine, but there should be a signal to recognise where additional supports may be needed for somebody. It will be vital.

I mentioned indemnity and the Minister did not have the chance to come back to me on that. I would appreciate an answer. These are medical specialists working across different fields and going into each other's areas. For example, there may be an intersection with the mental health legislation and this Act. People are cutting across specialisms.

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