Older people, human rights, law and policy
in Ethical and legal debates in Irish healthcare
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This chapter discusses the troubling legal and ethical issues raised by admissions to nursing homes. Current practice and the existing legal framework for involuntary admissions are discussed and it is argued that there is a need for safeguards in relation to such admissions in Ireland as these constitute a deprivation of liberty. The chapter also deals with how decisions are made by families and healthcare professionals in relation to possible involuntary nursing home admission. This includes consideration of how a functional assessment of capacity in such cases should be approached and the arguments for and against involuntary admission in the person’s ‘best interests.’


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