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Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

Section 137 – Additional safeguards

The purpose of this section is to provide additional safeguards for P once the research has begun. It requires R to respect any signs of resistance from P (except where what is being done is intended to protect P from harm or to reduce or prevent pain or discomfort) and not involve P in research that would be contrary to an effective advance decision to refuse treatment, or any other form of statement made by P of which the R is aware. P’s interests must also be assumed to outweigh those of science and society.

P must be withdrawn from the research without delay if he or she indicates that he or she wishes to be withdrawn from it, or if R has reasonable grounds for believing that any of the requirements for approval of the project are no longer met. However, in these circumstances, P may still receive treatment if it can be lawfully carried out despite no longer being part of the project.

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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