Legal matters and health

  • The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 is a law that establishes a new legal framework for supported decision-making in Ireland. It has applied since 26 April 2023.

  • Decision support arrangements are available to give the legal authority to someone to help you make decisions or make decisions on your behalf.

  • If you have difficulty making certain decisions on your own without help or think you may soon have a difficulty, you can make a decision-making assistance agreement and choose a person you trust to be your decision-making assistant.

  • A co-decision making agreement gives a person the legal authority to make certain decisions with you.

  • If you are unable to make certain decisions, the court can give you a decision-making representative to make those decisions on your behalf.

  • No new wards of court can be created from 26 April 2023. Over the following 3 years, existing wards will be reviewed.

  • An Advance Healthcare Directive in Ireland is a statement about the type and extent of medical or surgical treatment you want in the future, on the assumption that you will not be able to make that decision at the relevant time.

  • As a general rule, informed consent must be given before medical and surgical procedures can happen in Ireland. Find out more.

  • If you need someone to act on your behalf, this page explains some of the arrangements available.

  • There are many ways you can access personal medical records. Find out how.

  • Power of attorney is a legal device in Ireland that can be set up by a person (the Donor) to allow another specially appointed person (the Attorney) to act on their behalf. An enduring power of attorney only takes effect when the donor becomes mentally incapacitated and no longer able to manage their own affairs.
    This document is in: Before a death