Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015

Functions and scope of authority of designated healthcare representatives

88. (1) (a) A designated healthcare representative has, by virtue of this paragraph, the power to ensure that the terms of the advance healthcare directive are complied with.

(b) A directive-maker may, in his or her advance healthcare directive, confer on his or her designated healthcare representative one or both of the following powers:

(i) the power to advise and interpret what the directive-maker’s will and preferences are regarding treatment as determined by the representative by reference to the relevant advance healthcare directive;

(ii) the power to consent to or refuse treatment, up to and including life-sustaining treatment, based on the known will and preferences of the directive-maker as determined by the representative by reference to the relevant advance healthcare directive.

(2) Nothing in this Part shall be construed as imposing any civil or criminal liability on a designated healthcare representative who, in exercising his or her relevant powers, acted in good faith and in accordance with what, at the time in question, he or she reasonably believed to be the will and preferences of the relevant directive-maker by reference to the relevant advance healthcare directive.

(3) A designated healthcare representative shall—

(a) as soon as is practicable after making a relevant decision but, in any case, not later than 7 working days after making the decision, make and keep a record in writing of the decision, and

(b) produce that record for inspection at the request of—

(i) the directive-maker if he or she has regained capacity, or

(ii) the Director.

(4) (a) The Director shall receive and consider complaints and allegations in relation to the way in which a designated healthcare representative is exercising his or her relevant powers.

(b) The Director shall review any complaint referred to in paragraph (a) and, if satisfied that the complaint has substance, shall conduct an investigation into the matter.

(c) The Director may, following the completion of an investigation under paragraph (b), decide to, as appropriate—

(i) take no further action, or

(ii) make an application to the court.

(5) The court may determine an application under subsection (4)(c) by—

(a) if it is satisfied that the designated healthcare representative has behaved, is behaving or is proposing to behave in a manner outside the scope of his or her relevant powers, making an order prohibiting the representative from exercising those powers with effect from the date, or the occurrence of the event, specified in the order for the purpose, or

(b) if it is not so satisfied, declining to make any such order.

(6) (a) A designated healthcare representative may only exercise the relevant powers when and for so long as the directive-maker lacks capacity.

(b) A designated healthcare representative shall not delegate any of the relevant powers and, accordingly, any instrument purporting to effect such a delegation is void.

(7) A directive-maker may designate, in his or her advance healthcare directive, a named individual to be the directive-maker’s alternate designated healthcare representative if the original designated healthcare representative dies, or is unable, for whatever reason, to exercise the relevant powers, provided that the named individual is eligible to act as such under section 87 at the time concerned, and, accordingly, the other provisions of this Part shall, with all necessary modifications, be construed to take account of any such advance healthcare directive.