Many people are not aware that the term “next of kin” does not actually have any legal meaning. It usually means nearest blood relative or spouse but not always, it can also be a friend. Your next of kin does not have the automatic right to make decisions for you that affect your health care when you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
For example, if you were in the situation of having to receive life sustaining treatment and have strong views that in certain circumstances you would not wish to receive such treatment, who would be able to speak on your behalf if you are unable to do so due to lack of capacity or are unconscious etc.?
Medical professionals must make decisions that are in your best interests but would they know what is in your best interests? You may have told family members or friends and you can give them that authority of speaking for you by putting in place a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney. In this document you appoint people that you trust to carry out your wishes on your behalf and you can expand on your wishes as to what care and medical treatment you receive to assist them in making those decisions.
Without a LPA the Court of Protection will have to appoint a Deputy to make these decisions on your behalf. This takes time, and more to the point, the person chosen is out of your hands.
Don’t leave your life in the hands of a stranger talk to our Specialist Team today.