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
Simon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
It is not our intention to interfere with the Mental Health Act 2001 or the safeguards in that at all, but I agree fully with the points made by Senator Higgins about the vulnerability of some of our citizens and the capacity-making powers of some individuals and the need for advocacy. It is absolutely my intention, the intention of the Government and, I note, the intention of the Oireachtas from this debate that there would be a very central role for advocacy. When somebody is detained under the provisions of this Act, that person can be removed from that detention by voluntarily co-operating with the isolation period. I am conscious of older or vulnerable people who may be watching and these are kind of scary words we use when we mention "detention". These are exceptional powers that we hope we never have to use. Everything should be used other than them to achieve the common good, which is the isolation of the Covid-19 disease.