1,038 sign up for Lasting Power of Attorney

Channel News Asia
07 October 2011

SINGAPORE: More than 1,000 people have signed up for the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). Registration for the LPA began in March last year, and 1,038 people have signed up as of 1 October. The LPA is a statutory mechanism under the Mental Capacity Act, which allows an individual to appoint trusted persons to make decisions on their behalf when they are unable to do so. To raise awareness of the Act, a seminar themed “The Mental Capacity Act: Rethinking Caregiving” was held and attended by people from the legal, healthcare and social service sectors as well as members of the public. Speaking at the seminar, Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Mr Chan Chun Sing encouraged caregivers for the mentally incapable to uphold the principle of “best interests” when acting and deciding on behalf of individuals who are unable to make their own choices and decisions. Mr Chan said “best interests” as advocated in the Mental Capacity Act is part of the protective framework to ensure the needs and interests of the vulnerable in our society are protected. It also provides an avenue for caregivers to account for any action or decision made on behalf of a vulnerable person without capacity. He added that with a fast—ageing population in Singapore, demand for caregiving will grow. He said while the government continues to work with various partners to meet the needs of the vulnerable in our midst, the community plays an equally, if not more important role. Mr Chan also urged more people who are eligible for the LPA to sign up for it. He added that more will be done to simplify the process of signing up for the LPA and increasing its awareness. He said: “From the feedback that has been given to us, one of it is this impression that it’s quite a daunting process, which it is not. The other one (is) a bit cultural — people sometimes don’t like to talk about such things. So we will work with the various stakeholders to overcome these challenges.”

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