A person can also write down or tell people about their wishes and preferences about their future treatment or care. These must be taken into account when determining what is in their best interests.
These statements can be about anything, including personal preferences such as having a shower rather than a bath, or not wanting to eat meat.
Naming someone to be consulted
A person can name someone who should always be consulted during the best interests decision-making process if the person lacks capacity to make the decision themselves.
Patients have a right to refuse medical treatment if they have capacity to do so. If someone is sure they do not want certain medical treatment if the need arises they can make an advance decision to refuse it. This will apply if they lack capacity to make the decision at the time the treatment is offered. Advance decisions about life-sustaining treatment have to be in writing, signed and witnessed.
Go to our page on Advance decisions for more information
Lasting Powers of Attorney
Anyone over the age of 18 who has capacity to do so may choose to give one or more people the power to make decisions over their property and affairs or their personal welfare. A personal welfare attorney can only make a decision if the person lacks capacity to make it themselves. To appoint an attorney, a standard form needs to be completed and registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Go to our page on Power of Attorney for more information.