The Appointment Of An LPA Is A Good Step In The Right Direction!


Have you ever wondered what would happen if one were ever to have an illness, injury or disability that may make it difficult for him to make decisions? In such a scenario, perhaps one would want to plan ahead in case there comes a time when he is not able to make important decisions.

A new concept of making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) has come in to existence from 1 April 2007. It is a statement that has the power to make decisions concerning about one's health and personal welfare if he is not able to do it at some particular time in future.

Now, the new Mental Capacity Act 2005 will permit the appointment of an LPA. Until recently, one could only appoint someone to make decisions about one's finances. From April 2007 onwards, besides financial matters, one would be able to appoint an attorney to make decisions about personal welfare and health at such stage when one might lack capacity to make such crucial decisions on one's own.

This legal document contains provisions that protect an individual's right to refuse medical treatment that he does not want, or to request treatment that he does want, in the event he loses his ability to make decisions himself.

The New Hampshire Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care lets an individual name someone to make important or even crucial decisions about his health care, including decisions about life support, if one can not any longer speak for oneself.

The individual's agent is the person the disabled appoints to make decisions on his behalf about his health care if he becomes unable to make those decisions himself.

It is important that this document be discussed by an individual with his physician or other health care providers before he signs it, to ensure that one understands the nature and range of decisions which may be made on one's behalf.

One does not need a lawyer's assistance or advice to complete this document, but in case there is something which is not understandable in the document, then one should ask a lawyer to explain it out for one's benefit and to set one's mind free from such concerns. The person one may appoint as agent should be one who knows and trusts the ailing person and must be at least 18 years old.

If one appoints one's health or residential care provider, say for instance, someone other than a relative, such as one's physician or an employee of a home health agency, hospital, nursing home, or residential care home, then that person will have to choose between acting as one's agent or as one's health or residential care provider. The law does not permit a person to do both at the same time.