Zach Moss 27 May 2016
Capacity law for Northern Ireland
On 9th May 2016, the Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) (MCA (NI)) became law.The Act is a significant step forward for promoting the dignity, autonomy and human rights of citizens of Northern Ireland and is the first piece of law in the world to combine mental health and mental capacity law.
This means that if a person has capacity, they can make decisions about their medical treatment even if they have a mental health condition.At the same time, the Act provides a framework for making decisions on behalf of people who lack capacity and uses the principle of best interests to guide this. The MCA (NI) also allows people to plan ahead for their future treatment and care. This means that people in Northern Ireland will be able to record their wishes and preferences for care with greater confidence that their wishes will be followed if they lose capacity in the future.