As a health and welfare attorney, your main duties are helping to look after medical matters for the donor.
Your responsibilities can also extend to make, or help the donor to make, decisions about refusing or consenting to treatment.
For example, you would be assisting with decisions about common health matters such as:
- The donor’s daily routine (e.g. eating, washing, and dressing).
- What kind of medical care the donor receives.
- Where the donor will live (e.g. a care home).
As a rule, you will be able to spend the donor’s money on certain things to help maintain or improve their quality of life. Typical examples include:
- Buying new clothes or paying their hairdressing bills.
- Paying someone to decorate their home or the room they use in a care home.
- Paying to get extra support so that the donor can do more visiting (e.g. to see friends or relatives or to take a holiday).
Note: You may need to get the money from the person (or persons) who are in charge of the donor’s funds (e.g. a financial affairs attorney).
Refusing or Consenting to Medical Treatment
The lasting power of attorney (LPA) may provide instructions on whether you can refuse or consent to treatment for the donor. If so, you would need to:
- Allow care staff to inspect the written authorisation (letter of attorney).
- Sign any relevant medical consent forms.
- Make decisions based on the best interests of the donor that restrict their human and civil rights as little as possible.
Note: It is not always possible for you to make decisions about the medical treatment for the donor. It could be out of your control if the donor made a living will or they got sectioned.
Applying for One Off Decisions
A ‘living will’ is a legal statement used to make advanced decisions about dying. The donor may have made one stating which medical treatments they do not wish to receive. In this case, you must give the living will and the LPA to the care staff.
Note: You can read further guidance about advance decisions and end of life care on the NHS Choices website
If there is a Living Will (advance decisions)
You can apply for a one-off decision from the Court of Protection when making decisions about a certain kind of medical treatment if:
- The living will and lasting power of attorney are giving different or conflicting instructions.
- The friends and family of the donor (or the medical staff) disagree on whether to administer the treatment.
ALSO IN THIS SECTION
Lasting Power of Attorney | A section explaining the duties, obligations, and the responsibilities of LPA.
Start Acting as an Attorney | Checks you need to make before you start making decisions for the donor.