8C: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LAW IN PRACTICE

  1. The MCA Code of Practice has been pivotal in making English law accessible. New Zealand should establish a Code of Practice concurrently with reform of the legislation. New Zealand is too small a country to have everyone “reinventing the wheel” by forming their own standards for best practice; greater-cross sectoral leadership is needed. The English experience shows it is vital that the professionals, as well as informal carers, know what the law is and how to implement it.
  • Code of Practice: Revised legislation should provide for a Code of Practice to be developed by a government agency responsible for the legislation. The enabling provisions should be based on those in the MCA. The Code should be developed after consultation with the health and disability sector. It should recognise the legal interface with the rights under the HDC Code and give guidance on how supported decision- making can operate in keeping with tikanga Māori.

  • A Toolkit for Assessing Capacity: The toolkit included in Appendix D is a practical legal and clinical guide to assist health practitioners in carrying out capacity assessments. It is a first step towards providing a consistent and systematic approach to assessing capacity within the New Zealand healthcare setting.
  © Copyright 2017 Alison Douglass