Guardianship and supported decision making in Israel

Rebecca Naomi Davies, Shirli Werner, Amanda Sinai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Recent research has promoted the use of supported decision making, in contrast to historical methods of substitute decision making when working with people with intellectual disabilities. In Israel, people with disabilities are protected by the Legal Capacity and Guardianship Law of 1962, which was amended in 2016. The purpose of this paper is to consider how these recent changes are perceived by the professionals in Israel. Design/methodology/approach: Professionals with experience in policy making, law, social work and with direct experience working with people with intellectual disabilities (ID) were interviewed using semi-structured interviews and one focus group. Interviews were recorded and subsequently coded and analysed qualitatively. Findings: Two major themes were identified. These were: the law and its phrasing, and changing culture. Findings highlight the process of change within guardianship law and practice and the challenges in implementation encountered so far and anticipated in the future. Originality/value: Guardianship laws are changing in many states and the challenges to implementation of supported decision-making in these countries have been echoed in this study. Functional models to allow implementation of supported decision-making have not yet been strongly evidenced. It is hoped that this research may provide a springboard for further study into legal capacity and guardianship issues in Israel and elsewhere.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)54-64
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Guardianship
  • Intellectual disability
  • Israel
  • Law
  • Legal capacity
  • Supported decision making


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