Your health, your decision
Have you made a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney?
Many people have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place for covering decisions regarding property and financial affairs. But do we apply that same concern towards our own health and welfare?
Our health and welfare was brought to the forefront of our minds in recent years during the pandemic. Restrictions saw us separated from our loved ones in hospital and care settings. In many instances, patients’ care rested in the hands of care professionals and their families had no say.
Who can make decisions about my care?
There is a common misconception that our next of kin can automatically be involved in decisions regarding our care. However, the law states otherwise.
The Care Act 2014 and Social Services and Wellbeing Act 2014 gave social services new powers to protect adults at risk. This gave public services clear responsibility to make sure that vulnerable people were better protected from abuse or neglect.
Whilst these laws were introduced to improve care for the most vulnerable, it gave healthcare professionals the right to make decisions about a patient’s care if they lacked capacity. Healthcare professionals can also decide whether disclosing confidential information about you to your family is in your best interests.
Why should I have a Health and Welfare LPA?
Less than 1% of the adult UK population has a LPA. However, 1 in 14 persons over the age of 65 have dementia (UK), with the condition affecting 1 in 6 people over 80. A Health and Welfare LPA grants your trusted attorneys the authority to make decisions about your health if you lack capacity.
It’s not only the elderly members of the population that can benefit from an LPA either. A Headway report found that every 90 seconds someone in the UK is admitted to hospital with an acquired brain injury.
It is especially important for couples who are unmarried or for those are not close to blood relatives. Often healthcare professionals are reluctant to disclose confidential information to partners or close friends not named in a LPA.
You may already have a lasting power of attorney to cover your finances but is it time to consider your future health and welfare?
For more information, please contact our Wills, Trusts & Probate Team today.Back to News