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Public consultation on human rights implications of health decisions

17 Jun 2019 / human rights Print

Public consultation on human rights implications of health decisions

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has begun public consultation on a human-rights-based approach to care and support in adult health and social-care settings.

Rachel Flynn, pictured, (HIQA’s Director of Health Information and Standards) said: “For many people working in health and social-care services, a human-rights-based approach already underpins many of their day-to-day decisions, for example, staffing levels, physical restraint, personal care and end-of-life decisions. 


“However, staff are often not aware that such decisions have human-rights implications.”

This draft guidance, developed in conjunction with Safeguarding Ireland, and part-funded by an Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission grant, aims to support staff to deliver care and support that protects, promotes and supports the human rights of people using health and social-care services. 

HIQA has already developed national standards that promote a human-rights-based approach, for example National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare(2012) and National Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland(2016).

This draft guidance will provide additional support to people working in adult health and social-care settings in understanding a human-rights-based approach, and implementing national standards.

Basic rights

Human rights are basic rights and freedoms protected by Irish and international law, but HIQA believes that this has not led to widespread knowledge or understanding of the application of these rights in health and social-care settings

This draft guidance provides practical information and real-life examples under the principles of fairness, respect, equality, dignity and autonomy to support staff across a wide range of services. 


Although primarily written for staff working within health and social-care settings, the guidance will also be useful for people using services, their families, carers, friends and advocates.

HIQA is inviting feedback from service providers, people using services, advocates, and family members with experience of any adult health or social-care setting in Ireland.

Those interested can take part in the consultation by visiting www.hiqa.ie (search for ‘Draft Guidance on a Human Rights-Based Approach to Care and Support in Health and Social Care Settings’), before 5pm on Wednesday, 17 July. 

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland