Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015

We all make decisions, big and small, every day of our lives. Most of us are able to make these decisions by ourselves. Sometimes we may seek information, advice, or support if the decision we are making is more complex. There are many people accessing our health services whose ability to make certain decisions about their life and choices may be affected by a disability, an accident, a medical procedure, or a chronic illness- either on a temporary or a permanent basis. With the right support, these people can continue, regardless of their condition, to exercise their right to making decisions.

A new law has been passed which maximises a person's right to make their own decisions, with legally recognised supports, whenever possible. The Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 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 has not yet been commenced. However the HSE is doing a number of things to prepare staff and services for commencement. During Autumn 2020, we will be delivering a series of webinars focusing on Consent and Assisted Decision-Making. We will also be launching our explainer video on the Act. 

About the HSE National Office for Human Rights and Equality Policy

Please click here to find out more about the HSE National Office for Human Rights and Equality Policy.

Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 Explainer Video

View the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 explainer video.

Webinar series

We have ran two webinar series - one in June 2020 on Advance care planning, supported decision making and Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR)- Guidance for Healthcare Workers, and one in autumn 2020 focusing on Consent and Assisted Decision-Making.

Webinars from June 2020

Webinars from autumn 2020

Consent and vaccination webinars from early 2021

The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act: Personal and Professional Reflections - A Collection of Essays

On Wednesday 3rd November 2021, the HSE National Office of Human Rights and Equality Policy in conjunction with the Decision Support Service and the School of Law, University College Cork launched a book titled 'The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015: Personal and Professional Reflections'.   Click here to download the book and to watch the recording of the launch.

Latest news from the HSE National Office for Human Rights and Equality Policy

  • Guidance has been developed on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and DNAR decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please click here for more information.
  • We held three events in 2019 on the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015:
  • Caoimhe Gleeson, Programme Lead, HSE Assisted Decision-Making and Consent Office, participated in a QI Talktime in May 2019. You can see the slides and view the recording here.
  • The HSE has developed a number of draft Codes of Practice on the Act on behalf of the Decision Support Service - three on Advance Healthcare Directives and an overarching Code on the Act for Health and Social Care Professionals. These Codes of Practice have been submitted to the Director of the Decision Support Service for consideration. 
  • The HSE ADM and Consent Office has been delivering information and briefing sessions on the Act to services and senior management teams. If you would like us to talk to your service about the Act, please contact
  • The consultation process on the draft Codes of Practice on Advance Healthcare Directives has now concluded. Access the consultation page.
  • The consultation process on the draft Guide on the Act for health and social care professionals has now concluded. 


  • To mark International Day of people with Disabilities, the IDS TILDA Wave 4 report will be launched exploring the experiences of people with an intellectual disability during COVID 19.  The launch will take place on the 3rd December at 10.30am.
  • Irish Times, 21st September 2020 - Replacement wards of court system to be delayed without budget funding
  • The Decision Support Service has launched their new website.
  • The Irish Hospice Foundation has issued a press release urging people to consider advance healthcare planning. 
  • The Irish Hospice Foundation has launched the Care and Inform Information Hub. It includes a range of information resources and videos focussing on the themes of grief, funerals in exceptional times, planning ahead and a suite of resources for healthcare professionals to support and guide all who need it during the COVID-19 emergency. 
  • The Mental Health Commission have launched their 2018 Annual Report, including an update on the establishment of the Decision Support Service.
  • IHREC have launched "All Human, All Equal", a national awareness campaign to inform attitudes towards people with disabilities. Please click here for more information.
  • The HSE Health Passport and Mission Possible short film was launched in Letterkenny on Wednesday 19th June 2019.
  • The National Disability Authority has developed 11 non-healthcare Codes of Practice. Please click here for more information

Further information