The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 is often called the ‘2015 Act’. The 2015 Act establishes a new legal framework for supported decision-making.
A legally recognised arrangement that lets you plan ahead for healthcare and treatment decisions. It lets you set out your wishes about these types of decisions in case you are unable to make these decisions sometime in the future.
A person who has the authority from an enduring power of attorney to make certain decisions on your behalf if you become unable to make them for yourself. A person does not have to be a lawyer to act as your attorney.
A person’s ability to make decisions for themselves. Under the new law, this will be based on the person’s ability to make a specific decision at a specific time.
An assessment used to confirm if a person has the ability to make certain decisions for themselves. A person will have the capacity to make a decision if they can demonstrate all of the following:
- Understand the information relevant to the decision
- Recall that information long enough to make a choice
- Use or weigh up the information to make a decision
- Communicate their decision (or someone is able to communicate it on their behalf)
A person who has the authority to make certain decisions together with you if you need support to make decisions. You can appoint someone you know and trust to be your co-decision-maker by making a legally recognised arrangement called a co-decision-making agreement.
A legally recognised arrangement that you can make if you are unable to make certain decisions for yourself and require support. It lets you set out the types of decisions you want help with and give a person you know and trust the authority to make them together with you.
Any person will be able to make a complaint to us about a decision supporter or a decision support arrangement. We are not currently able to receive complaints.
The Circuit Court will have jurisdiction around most issues relating to the 2015 Act. The High Court will have jurisdiction about certain matters, for example, the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment or donation of an organ from a living donor.
A trained person who can support you if there is an application to the court about your ability to make certain decisions. The court can appoint a court friend to you if you do not have anyone else to help you with this. We will set up and maintain a panel of people who can perform this role.
A legally recognised arrangement that you can make if you need support to make certain decisions for yourself. It lets you give someone you know and trust the legal authority to help you, by gathering information and helping you to understand it.
A person who has the authority to help you when you are making certain decisions for yourself. You can appoint someone you know and trust to be your decision-making assistant by making a legally recognised arrangement called a decision-making assistance agreement.
A legal arrangement made by an order from the court. The court can appoint a person to make certain decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them for yourself. This person is called a decision-making representative.
A person appointed by the court to make certain decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them for yourself. Where possible, the court will appoint someone you know and trust in this role. If there is no one suitable who is able to do the role, the court can appoint a decision-making representative from a panel of trained experts maintained by us.
An umbrella term for all of the legally recognised arrangements to support people who have challenges with their capacity to make certain decisions. There will be five different arrangements available. These arrangements are based on the type of support that a person needs to make a specific decision at a specific time. They include arrangements for people who would like to plan ahead.
An umbrella term for any person who is given the legal authority to support someone with capacity challenges to make certain decisions. They must be appointed to their role in a legally recognised arrangement called a decision support arrangement. The type of support they can provide depends on the type of arrangement in place.
A person who has the authority to make certain decisions on your behalf regarding healthcare and treatment decisions. These decisions must be based on your wishes set out in an advance healthcare directive. They can only act on your behalf if you lose the ability to make certain healthcare decisions for yourself.
A legally recognised arrangement that lets you plan ahead for a time when you may be unable to make certain decisions for yourself. It lets you set out the types of decisions you may need help with and appoint someone you know and trust to make them on your behalf. This person is called an ‘attorney’ but does not have to be a lawyer.
A panel of trained experts that will be recruited and maintained by the Decision Support Service. They will help us perform a number of our functions. We will have panels of experts who can act as:
- Decision-making representatives
- General visitors
- Special visitors
- Court friends
Two types of decision support arrangement will let you plan ahead for a time when you may be unable to make certain decisions for yourself. These are sometimes referred to as future planning arrangements. They include an enduring power of attorney and an advance healthcare directive.
A trained expert who will help us to check that a decision support arrangement is working like it should. We will set up and maintain a panel of general visitors to help us with our work.
A set of key principles set out in the 2015 Act. These principles must be followed by people when interacting with a person who has or may have capacity challenges about a decision.
The Hague Convention on the International Protection of Adults is an international agreement that aims to protect vulnerable adults in international situations, for example, where an adult is a citizen of one country but lives in another. Under the 2015 Act Ireland has appointed the Decision Support Service as its central authority.
Decisions about a person’s interests, health and wellbeing. These types of decisions can include:
- Education and training
- Social activities
- Social services
- Other matters about a person’s well-being
Decisions about property, business and money matters. These types of decision can include:
- Managing property, including purchasing good and services
- Selling, mortgaging or disposing of property
- Buying property
- Business decisions
- Ending a partnership
- Carrying out a contract
- Managing debts and taxes
- Exercising the powers of a tenant for life
- Providing for the needs of other people
- Court proceedings
- Applying for social services
We will keep the details of decision support arrangements in a searchable register. Each register will allow certain professionals, organisations and members of the public to confirm whether or not a decision support arrangement exists. In some circumstances, it will also let them access the content of the decisions in the arrangement. We will keep a register of the following arrangements:
- Co-decision-making agreements
- Decision-making representation orders
- Enduring powers of attorney
A trained expert who can help us to check if a person has the capacity to make certain decisions. We will set up and maintain a panel of special visitors to help us with our work.
An international agreement which aims to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of people with disabilities. Ireland has ratified the UNCRPD, which means it is part of the agreement.
Under the current law, if a person is unable to make certain decisions because of capacity difficulties, they may be made a Ward of Court. When a person is made a Ward of Court, a Committee is appointed to control the ward’s assets and make decisions about their affairs.