Lasting Power of Attorney doesn't override Advance Medical Directive

Mr Ng Wei Shee asked if a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) will override an Advance Medical Directive (AMD) ("Clarify overlap in LPA and AMD"; Forum Online, May 22).

The law in Singapore allows Singaporeans who wish to make an AMD and who satisfy certain conditions in the Advance Medical Directive Act (AMD Act) to do so.

An AMD (made in accordance with the AMD Act) is a legal document in which one voluntarily, and in advance, registers his wishes not to have any extraordinary life-sustaining treatment to prolong his life when the person suffers from a terminal illness, requires extraordinary life-sustaining treatment, and is unconscious or is incapable of exercising rational judgment on his own treatment.

Making an AMD is a voluntary decision, and cannot be made on behalf of another person.

Regardless of objections from family members, doctors will have to respect a person's AMD.

An LPA made by a person does not override that person's registered AMD.

Lim Bee Khim (Ms)

Director

Corporate Communications

Ministry of Health