21. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health the additional health service resources that will be required for the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. (Question 6447/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The purpose of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.

It is intended that the final legislative amendments needed to enable Ireland to comply with the Convention will be contained in the Disability (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016 sponsored by the Minister for Justice and Equality and in a stand-alone Bill on deprivation of liberty.

The Department of Health is continuing to progress draft legislation to provide legislative clarity on the issue of deprivation of liberty which will add a new Part to the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015.

Essentially, the deprivation of liberty provisions will set out a process which aims to ensure that people are not unlawfully deprived of their liberty. The provisions are intended to provide safeguards for older people and persons with a disability where they are living in, or it is proposed that they will live in, a residential facility and there is reason to believe they lack the capacity to decide to live there. It is intended that these safeguards will also apply to mental health facilities where such persons have mental health issues but are not suffering from a mental disorder and therefore cannot be involuntarily detained under the Mental Health Act 2001.

The approach taken in the draft legislation makes use of the decision making procedures, supports and safeguards that already exist under the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 and also includes some additional safeguards specific to deprivation of liberty.

The deprivation of liberty provisions will have resource implications for the health services which will be quantified as proposals are being refined.