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New law fails to protect those with disability

I refer to the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013, the Order for Report Stage of which is to be moved today and Report Stage and Final Stage of which are to be dealt with then.

The following sections need reconsideration: sections 4. (3) (a), (b), (c), 66. 4 (b), 6 (a), (b), (c) (i); and section 118 should be left as is.

The Bill is seriously flawed in that it fails to protect from undue pressure persons planning their health care into the future.

I refer especially to section 4. 3 (a), (b), and (c) on non-therapeutic sterilisation, withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, and organ donation, respectively; section 66. 4 (b), 6(a), (b), (c) (i) on the unborn, a section that doesn’t seem to have been given due consideration.

Section 118, that should be left as is in that it should continue the prohibition on putting persons lacking capacity on clinical trials.

I’d like to point out that this bill is probably in breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability, section 25 of which is aimed at preventing “discriminatory denial of health care or health services or food and fluids on the basis of disability”.

Séamas de Barra

Alliance for the Defence of the Family and Marriage


Dublin 6


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