This draft Bill follows up the Government White paper "Making decisions: the Government's proposals for making decisions on behalf of mentally incapacitated adults" (1999, Cm 4465) (ISBN 0101446527). The publication consists of 2 vols., not sold separately: Vol. 1: Draft Mental Incapacity Bill; and Vol. 2: Commentary and explanatory notes: making decisions. One of the innovations in the Bill is a new system of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) which allows people to appoint an attorney to act on their behalf if they should lose mental capacity in the future. The Bill also creates a system of court-appointed deputies to replace and extend the current system of receiverships in the Court of Protection. It also seeks to codify the law regarding advance decision to refuse medical treatment in certain circumstances (including "living wills"). The current Court of Protection has jurisdiction in respect of financial decision-making on behalf of adults who lack mental capacity; other decisions, e.g regarding serious heathcare cases, are currently dealt with by the High Court. The draft Bill proposes merging and extending both functions under a new Court of Protection. The current Public Guardian system will be reformed. A new criminal offence will be created where an attorney or a deputy or someone who has care of a person who lacks mental capacity. ill-treats or wilfully neglects that person. There will also be an offence of concealing or destroying an advance decision to refuse treatment.
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