Do I need a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney?
It seems fairly straight forward that everyone who has someone they trust to appoint should have an LPA for Property and Affairs; as an insurance policy. But what about a Health and Welfare LPA?
An Attorney under a Health and Welfare LPA can make the following decisions:
- Medical treatment – subject to any restriction on their powers under the LPA, an attorney can consent to or refuse medical treatment on behalf of the donor.
- Where the donor lives – the Attorney can make decisions on where it is in the best interests of the donor to live.
- Life-sustaining medical treatment –The Attorney can refuse life-sustaining treatment on behalf of the donor if they have given specific authorisation for this in the LPA.
Any decisions made by an Attorney must always be made in the best interests of the donor and can only be made when the Donor lacks capacity.
A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney can be very useful in some circumstances. For instance if you have strong feelings about what medical treatment would be appropriate for you. This would include a vegetarian who did not wish to have medication tested on animals or someone who felt that the standard treatments for any illness are inappropriate. It would even allow the Attorney to ensure that someone who always had a ‘flu jab continues to receive this even if they are unable to give consent. This form of LPA can also be very useful if someone is in a care home funded by the NHS and the care home wish the person to move to a room which would be less suitable for them i.e. without a view from the window.