Twomey welcomes public consultation on ‘Living Wills’ legislation

5th February 2014 - Sarah Meade

Fine Gael Wexford TD, Dr Liam Twomey, has today (Wednesday) welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly TD, that a public consultation is underway on legislation which will introduce ‘Living Wills’.


Deputy Twomey’s Living Wills Bill, which he brought before the Dáil in June 2012, is being incorporated in the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013. Living Wills are a means of taking control of what happens to a person at the end of their life, by taking it out of the hands of medical professionals and giving it back to patients by allowing them to make decisions for themselves.


“I am pleased that this public consultation process is getting underway on the advance healthcare directives, or Living Wills, and I view it as a further step forward in bringing this legislation to fruition. Living Wills are in no way related to assisted suicide, but rather they can help to take some of the stress out of end of life care. Quite simply, Living Wills allow patients to decide how they should be treated in end of life situations.


“I have been working on this issue for quite some time; first as an Opposition TD and now as a Government Deputy. Living Wills are a pragmatic response to a very real and difficult situation, and I believe it is only right that people of sound mind can state what level of treatment they want to receive if they are terminally ill or incapacitated.


“The introduction of Living Wills will also reduce the current practice whereby different doctors are free to take entirely different approaches in their treatment of terminally ill or elderly patients. This is in keeping with the Government’s move towards patient-focussed healthcare.


“I would like to join Minister Reilly in encouraging interested parties to participate in this consultation process which has been commenced by the Department of Health.”



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