Assisted Decision-Making – Where are we now?
22 September 2022
In last week’s blogs we noted that the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Bill 2022 had its second reading in the Seanad. According to Seanad debates, committee stage was due to take place on Tuesday the 20th of September, but the Bill was not listed on the Schedule of Committees for that day and the list of Committee amendments have not been published.
The Minister responsible for the Bill, Minister O’Gorman, outlined some of the reasons for an amendment Bill. Some key points being:-
- The DSS is to be given additional powers to investigate and informally resolve complaints
- Introduction of the new two-stage process for EPAs
- Streamlining of the Circuit Court role
- Limiting the application of Advanced Healthcare Directives in the case of pregnancy.
One of the most telling comments of the Minister was the following
Transition provisions are included to provide for an orderly transition between the wardship system and the new arrangements under the 2015 Act. On Report Stage, I introduced amendments to give clarity for persons in respect of whom a wardship application has been made but is unresolved at the time of the commencement of the 2015 Act. Following further considerations over the summer, I will be seeking to bring some further amendments to those provisions to give further clarity on Committee Stage in this House.
There are concerns that there will be some gap between wardship and the new wardship procedures under the 2015 Act (known as decision-making representatives). It is interesting despite all the scrutiny on this point, there is a need for further amendments to be made in the Seanad to deal with these issues.
Further updates will follow as and when information is to hand.
In the meantime, if you have any probate, will drafting, capacity or CAT issues, please reach out at email@example.com