Seanad debates

Friday, 27 March 2020

An Bille um Bearta Éigeandála ar mhaithe le Leas an Phobail (Covid-19) 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages


12:00 pm

Photo of Maire DevineMaire Devine (Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I support the sentiment in the legislation. It is quite shocking that it involves a lawyer or barrister with a legal background while the actual practise of psychiatry or psychology is not taken into account. When the Mental Health Commission and the tribunals were set up, unfortunately, they went down the legal route, which is unlike what happened in Britain, because much money was to be made from it. Money is not made by the experts and the medics involved.

Amendment No. 38 seeks the voice of a medical professional who knows the patient. The barrister is there to look at the law. The tribunal is not just about law but about equality and fairness while listening to the voice of the patient at the tribunal, although remotely. If a consultant psychiatrist is not available, we then perhaps need clinical nurse specialists or advanced nurse practitioners.

There should not be a constant extension of someone’s involuntary status for a long time.

I want to give a shout out to the Bills Office for working so hard on the amendments last night. It did really well.


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