Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Health
591. To ask the Minister for Health the status in respect of Part 8 of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 of the consultation process by the director of the decision support service on the recommendations of the multidisciplinary working group, which were submitted to them on 21 December 2018; the timeline for the completion of the consultation process and the publication of the final code of practice as prescribed by the Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2842/20]
Part 8 of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 provides a legislative framework for advance healthcare directives (AHDs). An AHD is a statement made by a person with capacity setting out his or her will and preferences regarding treatment decisions that may arise in the future when he or she no longer has capacity. On 17 October 2016 the Minister for Health established a multidisciplinary working group to prepare a detailed series of recommendations for the Director of the Decision Support Service (DSS), in relation to the code of practice under section 91(2) of the Act. In anticipation of the completion of that process, the Minister for Health commenced the remainder of section 91 on 17 December 2018 [S.I. No. 527 of 2018]. This enabled the Director of the DSS to progress the preparation of the code of practice on the AHD provisions, based on the working group’s recommendations, and in accordance with the specific process outlined in the Act. The multidisciplinary working group submitted its recommendations on the code of practice to the Director of the DSS on 21 December 2018.
In relation to the commencement of Part 8 of the Act, my Department is fully committed to commencing these provisions as soon as possible. The development of the code of practice to accompany the AHR provisions is a key piece of work in facilitating commencement. The AHD Multidisciplinary Working Group developed a code of practice for Part 8 of the Act and submitted it to the Director of the Decision Support Service in December 2018 for consideration. When the Director finalises the Code of Practice it will be submitted to the Minister for approval before publication.