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.


Life-sustaining 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