The Mental Capacity Act came into force in Singapore in 2010. It aims to safeguard the best interests of those patients that lack the capacity to make decisions about their own treatment.
The key principles of the Act are derived from the fundamental right of every patient to autonomy. This means that every patient should be assumed to have the capacity to make their own decisions unless proved otherwise; all practicable steps must be taken to allow the patient to make their own decisions. Decisions made on the patient's behalf must always be in their best interests and the least restrictive on their rights.
Office of the Public Guardian
"The Office of the Public Guardian (“OPG”) works towards protecting the dignity and interests of individuals who lack mental capacity and are vulnerable as well as encouraging proactive planning for an eventuality of losing one’s mental capacity." (Office of the Public Guardian, "About OPG")
The proactive planning mentioned refers to the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). In Singapore, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) acts to protect those who suffer from dementia, among other things.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
"A Lasting Power of Attorney ("LPA") is a legal document which allows a person who is 21 years of age or older ('donor'), to voluntarily appoint one or more persons ('donee'), to act and make decisions on his behalf as his proxy decision maker if he should lose mental capacity one day. Donees can be appointed to cover two broad areas: personal welfare as well as property & affairs matters." (Office of the Public Guardian, "The Lasting Power of Attorney")
Making a LPA can be largely helpful for when and if the time comes that one loses their mental capacity. It can save loved ones a lot of worry and hassle, and can protect them as well. For more information about making a LPA, one can visit the following site: http://www.publicguardian.gov.sg/PrePlan/HowCanIMakeaLastingPowerofAttorney.aspx
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital Department of Psychological Medicine provides a comprehensive treatment and management for psychological and cognitive disorders including dementia. We have a dedicated multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists and psychologists that can provide assessment and treatment for your psychological and emotional needs. The psychiatrists are also able to conduct formal assessment of mental capacity.
If you would like to obtain an assessment, please obtain a referral from your doctor or call 65558828 for an appointment.