Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988

Part 2 Welfare guardians

18 Powers and duties of welfare guardian

(1)

No court shall empower a welfare guardian, and no welfare guardian shall have power,—

(a)

to make any decision relating to the entering into marriage or civil union by the person for whom the welfare guardian is acting, or to the dissolution of that person’s marriage or civil union; or

(b)

to make any decision relating to the adoption of any child of that person; or

(c)

to refuse consent to the administering to that person of any standard medical treatment or procedure intended to save that person’s life or to prevent serious damage to that person’s health; or

(d)

to consent to the administering to that person of electro-convulsive treatment; or

(e)

to consent to the performance on that person of any surgery or other treatment designed to destroy any part of the brain or any brain function for the purpose of changing that person’s behaviour; or

(f)

to consent to that person’s taking part in any medical experiment other than one to be conducted for the purpose of saving that person’s life or of preventing serious damage to that person’s health.

(2)

Subject to subsection (1), a welfare guardian shall have all such powers as may be reasonably required to enable the welfare guardian to make and implement decisions for the person for whom the welfare guardian is acting in respect of each aspect specified by the court in the order by which the appointment of the welfare guardian is made.

(3)

In exercising those powers, the first and paramount consideration of a welfare guardian shall be the promotion and protection of the welfare and best interests of the person for whom the welfare guardian is acting, while seeking at all times to encourage that person to develop and exercise such capacity as that person has to understand the nature and foresee the consequences of decisions relating to the personal care and welfare of that person, and to communicate such decisions.

(4)

Without limiting the generality of subsection (3), a welfare guardian shall—

(a)

encourage the person for whom the welfare guardian is acting to act on his or her own behalf to the greatest extent possible; and

(b)

seek to facilitate the integration of the person for whom the welfare guardian is acting into the community to the greatest extent possible; and

(c)

consult, so far as may be practicable,—

(i)

the person for whom the welfare guardian is acting; and

(ii)

such other persons, as are, in the opinion of the welfare guardian, interested in the welfare of the person and competent to advise the welfare guardian in relation to the personal care and welfare of that person; and

(iii)

a representative of any group that is engaged, otherwise than for commercial gain, in the provision of services and facilities for the welfare of persons in respect of whom the court has jurisdiction in accordance with section 6, and that, in the opinion of the welfare guardian, is interested in the welfare of the person and competent to advise the welfare guardian in relation to the personal care and welfare of that person.

(5)

In addition to subsection (4)(c), where the person for whom the welfare guardian is acting is subject to a property order, the welfare guardian shall consult on a regular basis with the manager of that person’s property to ensure that the interests of that person are not prejudiced through any breakdown in communication between the welfare guardian and the manager.

(6)

A welfare guardian may apply to a court for directions relating to the exercise of the powers of the welfare guardian, and the court may give such directions as it thinks fit.

Section 18(1)(a): amended, on 26 April 2005, by section 7 of the Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005 (2005 No 3).