Health and welfare decisions
- A LPA for your Health and Welfare might be about giving or refusing consent to treatment. If you have no mental capacity, you would be unable to speak for yourself.
- You may have a strong preference to stay in your own home rather than go into residential or nursing accommodation (with the help of social services).
- Your preference may be to find and move into a good care home should you be unable to live independently.
- You may have strong religious preference regarding the use of blood or blood products.
- You may have preferences regarding your diet, the clothes you wish to wear, or your daily routine.
If you have prepared a Lasting Power of Attorney you can stipulate specific requirements or your preferences. The person you’ve appointed as an Attorney will also be able to tell those looking after you what your preference would have been if you were able to communicate it to them.
One very important provision in the Health and Welfare LPA is whether you would want the appointed attorney to make decisions about accepting or refusing medical treatment to keep you alive, or whether you would prefer doctors to make those decisions. Both need to act in your best interests.
You don’t have to have a life threatening illness in order to have an opinion about what you would like to see happen to you if you were to lose mental capacity. Your medical issues need not be imminent or complex. People who have an opinion about how they would like to be treated, and in what circumstances they would be prefer not to be treated, are just everyday people like you and me. It’s a way of planning for your future care in case a situation arises when you cannot make decisions yourself.