Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
What is a Health and Welfare LPA?
A Health and Welfare LPA enables your Attorney to make decisions about:
Where you are to live
What sort of care would be most suitable
Refusing consent to medical treatment.
your nominated Attorney can only make decisions about life-sustaining treatment if you have indicated that you want them to in the LPA.
This refers to any treatment that a doctor considers necessary to keep you alive, for example:
• a serious surgical operation, like a heart bypass
• receiving chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or other cancer treatment or surgery
• an organ transplant.
However, if you have breathing problems & develop pneumonia, a simple course of antibiotics could be regarded as life-sustaining.
Artiﬁcial nutrition or hydration (ANH) can also be life-sustaining. ANH is food and water given to someone other than by their mouth.
In making such decisions they must not be motivated by a desire to bring about a person’s death.
This would allow your attorney(s) to decide to withdraw treatments like ANH in situations where it has become a burden or is not working.
If you don’t want your attorney(s) to make decisions about life-sustaining treatment, your doctors will make the decision. They will carry out a "best interests assessment"– taking into account the views of your attorney(s) and others involved in your welfare.
In a health and welfare LPA, your attorney(s) can only make decisions on your behalf – whether about life-sustaining treatment or not – once you lack mental capacity.
If you can decide then it remains your decision. This is an important safeguard.
Attorneys cannot make decisions about:
• consenting to marriage or a civil partnership
• consenting to a decree of divorce (or civil partnership dissolution) based on two years’ separation
• consenting to sex
• medical treatment for a mental disorder if the treatment is regulated by Part 4 of the Mental Health Act 1983