Many people joke that the only two certainties in life are taxes and death. Indeed, as much as we want to live healthily, we should not wait until a serious illness strike before thinking about life and death issues. As far as end of life planning is concerned, there are several important measures one can take to ensure that one’s death is faced with dignity and is within one’s wishes. Two such measures will be covered in this post.
The LPA is a legal document which allows a person who is at least 21 years of age (‘donor’), to voluntarily appoint one or more persons (‘donee(s)’), to make decisions and act on the donor’s behalf should he lose mental capacity one day. A donee can be appointed to act in the two broad areas of personal welfare and property & affairs matters.
By appointing a trusted donee as the proxy decision maker when one loses mental capacity, one can make early preparations to protect your interests should one become vulnerable one day. If you lose mental capacity without an LPA in place, your loved ones may need go through the stress and difficulties of applying for a Deputyship order through the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).
The LPA form requires a LPA Certificate Issuer to witness and certify. A Certificate Issuer can be:
- a medical practitioner accredited by the OPG; or
- a practising lawyer; or
- a registered psychiatrist
In a bid to encourage Singaporeans to pre-plan and protect their interests, the $75 application fee payable to the OPG will be waived for Singaporeans until 31 Aug 2018. Applicants are required to pay a professional fee to engage the services of an LPA Certificate Issuer. At Mutual Healthcare, we believe that health prevention and health planning go hand in hand.
To arrange for an LPA, you would need to print out and bring the LPA Form 1 and fill up your details. You can choose to come alone or with your donees. If you come alone, your donees would need to sign the form to accept the appointment to be a donee under a separate witness (you the donor cannot be the witness).
To find out more, refer to this OPG website or make an appointment with us.
The AMD is a legal document that you sign in advance to inform your doctor that you do not want to use any life-sustaining treatment to prolong your life in the event you become terminally ill or unconscious.
In the AMD, “terminal illness” refers to an incurable condition caused by injury or disease from which there is no reasonable prospect of temporary or permanent recovery. In such conditions, death is imminent even if extraordinary life-sustaining treatment is used and would only serve to postpone the moment of death for the patient.
Any person aged 21 and above, and of sound mind, can make an AMD. All you need to do is to sign the AMD form in the presence of two witnesses, one of which is a registered medical doctor.
To find out more, refer to this MOH website or make an appointment with us to discuss further.
To further encourage the uptake of the LPA and AMD, Mutual Healthcare will provide a complimentary Health Screening Package if you apply for both LPA and AMD at our clinics.
End of life topics are best broached with a trained medical practitioner. It is best to have a thorough discussion before making such important decisions. If you know a loved one who may be dealing with end of life issues, do consider coming down as a family for an informed discussion. We will hold your hands through this journey together.