It has been announced this week that the commencement of the Assisted Decision Making Capacity Act 2015 will be delayed once more. The Opening of operations of the Decision Support Service has been delayed on a number of occasions to allow for legislative amendments which are necessary  for the act and the service to progress.

 

The Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015, provides for a Decision Support Service which will oversee and carry out the operations of the Act in supporting people who may need assistance with decisions, if their capacity is brought into question. This Legislation will be hugely important for people with intellectual disabilities in particular because many will need lifelong support with their decisions and it will enable people to have different levels of support with decisions as they may need it.

 

Below is the statement from the Decision Support Service themselves on the delay:

“The Decision Support Service (DSS) is aware that the amending legislation (the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Bill 2022) required for the full commencement of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 has not progressed through the Seanad according to the intended timeline.

We are waiting to hear from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth as to the implications of this and will update all stakeholders at that stage.

As we have stated previously, once the Act is commenced in full, the services of the DSS will be available to the public”.

Tomas Murphy, member of the Board of Directors of Inclusion Ireland says

“It is disappointing that the law that will start the assisted decision making act has been delayed again. People with intellectual disabilities have been waiting for a long time so that people will assume we have capacity to make our own decisions. The new law will hopefully help many people to have support with decisions so they can have choice and control over their own lives. We can’t wait any longer, we have been waiting too long for this to happen already. However, we want the law and the decision support service to work well for everyone when it is up and running so it needs to be right. The government should make this a priority for early 2023 because people have a right to make their own decisions and to have the support they need.”

 

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