The Mental Capacity Act sets out a range of ways by which people can plan for a time when they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that, in the event that a person later becomes unable to make certain decisions, lets a trusted person make these decisions on their behalf.
There are two different types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA):
A 'Health and Welfare LPA' allows a person to choose one or more people to make decisions about things such as medical treatment on their behalf.
A 'Property and Financial Affairs LPA' - allows a person to choose one or more people to make property and financial affairs decisions on their behalf.
The Mental Capacity Act also provides for Advanced Decisions (also known as Advanced Directives) to Refuse Treatment. This enables someone to plan ahead and refuse specified medical treatment in the future, for a time when they lack the mental capacity to consent or refuse that treatment.
A person may also make an Advanced Statement as to the treatment or care they would like to be given in the future if they should become unable to decide for themselves. This is not legally binding but will help others to understanding their wishes and preferences.
These measures can help people to plan for how their health, wellbeing and financial affairs will be looked after when they are no longer able to do this for themselves.
More information about Lasting Powers of Attorney, Advanced Decisions and Advanced Statements can be found in on 'Useful Publications about Mental Capacity' page.
information can also be found on the following websites:
NHS UK/Advanced statements
NHS UK/Advanced decision to refuse
Compassion in Dying