Lasting Powers of Attorney relating to Health & Welfare
People often associate Lasting Powers of Attorney with the management of their financial affairs. However, it is also possible to make a Lasting Power of Attorney relating to your Health and Welfare – this can cover anything from dietary requirements to withdrawal of life sustaining treatment.
If you are unable to make decisions regarding your Health and Welfare then another person will have to make decisions for you. In most day to day decisions this will be dealt with by a carer. However, if it involves the provision of medical treatment then the “decision-maker” will be the Doctor or another member of healthcare staff responsible for the treatment or procedure. When making such a decision the “decision-maker” is protected from reprisal as long as the decision has been made in your “best interests”.
However, what if you have strong beliefs regarding treatment? If these beliefs are not known by the “decision-maker” then they won’t be taken into account. What if your family know your beliefs but the “decision-maker” does not believe that they are in your best interests?
The question of who makes the decision is still true in other scenarios, for example to go into a care home or stay at home.
Only by making a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare can you be sure that your wishes will be followed in the event that you can’t make that decision. A person of your choice can then step into your shoes and give, refuse, or consent on your behalf.
If you would like to find out more about how a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can aid your medical wishes please contact a member of our team.