Since April 2007 it has been possible to arrange a Health and Welfare LPA. This is a legal process which enables you to appoint someone (known as an Attorney) to manage your health and personal welfare affairs if you no longer have the capacity to make your own decisions.
It is important to appoint someone you trust to carry out your wishes and act on your behalf. To find out more please refer to our Lasting Power of Attorney factsheet.
Appointment of an Attorney under a Health and Welfare LPA, after you have made an advance decision, can invalidate the advance decision. This happens if you have given your Attorney power to make the same decisions about the same treatment which you specified in your advance decision.
Similarly, if an advance decision is made after an appointment of an Attorney, the advance decision would overrule the Attorney’s decision.
Understandably, it can be very difficult to make detailed plans for a time when you may be unable to make your own decisions or convey your wishes. Many people make general comments about future treatment but unless they make formal arrangements there is a real danger their wishes cannot be met. Once the formalities have been completed there can be reassurance for all concerned.
We strongly advise you to consult your healthcare professionals when planning and drawing up legally binding documents.