About the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015

The Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act was signed into law on the 30th December 2015. This Act applies to everyone and is relevant to all health and social care services.  The Act is about supporting decision making and maximising a person’s capacity to make decisions. The Act will have significant implications for health and social care providers in the provision of safe person-centred care, based on respecting the individual rights of each person.

Key features of the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015:

  • It applies to everyone and to all health and social care settings.
  • It provides for the individual’s right of autonomy and self-determination to be respected through an Enduring Power of Attorney and an Advance Healthcare Directive – made when a person has capacity to come into effect when they may lack decision-making capacity.
  • It provides for legally recognised decision-makers to support a person maximise their decision making powers.
  • It places a legal requirement on service providers to comprehensively enable a person make a decision through the provision of a range of supports and information appropriate to their condition.
  • It abolishes the Wards of Court system. 
  • It provides for a review of all existing wards to either discharge them fully or to transition those who still need assistance to the new structure.
  • It repeals the Lunacy regulations governing the Ward of Court system.
  • It establishes a Decision Support Service with clearly defined functions which will include the promotion of public awareness relating to the exercise of capacity by persons who may require assistance in exercising their capacity. 
  • The Director of the Decision Support Service will have the power to investigate complaints in relation to any action by a decision-maker in relation to their functions as such decision-maker.

 Upcoming events

ERC Voices Project - Seminar on Consent to Sex and Relationships for People with Disabilities. 6th September, Institute for LIfecourse and Society, NUIG. Click here for more information.

Further information

Click here to access the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015

Click here to find information on useful resources.