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Pro Bono: Mental Capacity

Introduction

This section contains information on the systems in place to protect the dignity and interests of individuals who lack mental capacity, including:

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Acknowledgement: Special thanks to Joel Leow Wei Xiang '18 (LL.B. (Hon.) NUS) and Allen Sng Kiat Peng, Sheridan Fellow for their advice and assistance in this section.

Resources

A. General

Mental Capacity Matters (Ministry of Social and Family Development)
An overview of the Lasting Power of Attorney, Deputyship Applications to the Court and Dental Services for Persons with Special Needs. Published by MSF.

Guides (Office of the Public Guardian)
Work of the OPG includes protecting the dignity and interests of individuals who lack mental capacity as well as encouraging proactive planning for an eventuality when one may lose his/her mental capacity. Guides are published in the 4 official languages, including those on:

  • the lasting power of attorney
  • the Mental Capacity Act for the deputy
  • the Mental Capacity Act for the donee
  • the Mental Capacity Act for the caregiver.

B. Proactive Planning

The Lasting Power of Attorney
Information on the LPA and how to make one. Published by the Office of the Public Guardian.

Lasting Power of Attorney : a Guide to the LPA and How to Set It Up
Guidebook by Lim Fung Peen.
Ref: KE5104 Pow.Lim 2019

C. Protection

A Step-by-Step Guide to Deputyship Applications
MCA Deputyship Guidebook Project by NUS Law. Published by the Centre for Pro Bono & Clinical Legal Education.
Ref: KE5077.4 Ste 2019

The Deputyship Regime Under Singapore's Mental Capacity Act: An Introduction
Article published by Allen Sng Kiat Peng and Kah-Wai Tan which provides a map for those who wish to be acquainted with the deputyship regime. It also examines the practical issues that litigants-in-person have faced and considers some solutions to help them overcome such challenges.  

Deputy Applications Under the Mental Capacity Act - Writing the Medical Report
Article by Lim Hui Min, Director of the Legal Aid Bureau. Provides guidance on writing the medical report which needs to be exhibited in a doctor’s affidavit accompanying the deputy application. See also:

Singapore Courts: Deputyship
Procedure in the Family Justice Courts for the application of appointment of a Deputy for a person who lacks mental capacity. An overview of procedures is also available in this leaflet.

Singapore Courts: Vulnerable Adults
Procedures for application of orders to protect vulnerable adults in the Family Justice Courts. An overview of procedures is also available in this leaflet.

SMC Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines (2002 and 2016 editions) and Handbook on Medical Ethics (2016 edition)
The Singapore Medical Council publishes guidelines for doctors on how to deal with mentally incapacitated patients.

1. Family Justice Courts
a. Deputyship
The Family Justice Courts appoints a Deputy who is given authority to make decisions on behalf of a person who lacks mental capacity in relation to his personal needs and financial affairs.

Add: Mental Capacity Registry, Family Justice Courts@Maxwell Road, 5 Maxwell Road, #04-00 Tower Block, MND Complex, Singapore 069110
Tel: +65 6325 7619
Filing deputyship application:

b. Vulnerable Adults
A Vulnerable Adult (VA), a VA’s family member or a VA’s donee or deputy, may apply for an Order to protect himself/herself or the VA against future abuse or neglect by the person against whom an order is sought to be made.

Add: Family Protection Centre, Family Justice Courts@Havelock, Level 1, 3 Havelock Square, Singapore 059725
Tel: +65 6435 5471
Filing application for protection: https://www.judiciary.gov.sg/family/apply-to-protect-vulnerable-adult#file

2. Office of the Public Guardian
The Public Guardian carries out various functions towards enabling and protecting persons who lack capacity. These include:

  • setting up and maintaining a register of Lasting Power of Attorney 
  • setting up and maintaining a register of court orders that appoint deputies
  • supervising deputies
  • receiving reports from donees and deputies
  • investigating alleged violations of the Mental Capacity Act, including complaints about the way in which donees and deputies exercise their powers.

Add: Family@Enabling Village, 20 Lengkok Bahru, #04-02, Singapore 159053
Tel: 1800 226 6222 (Toll Free)
Email: enquiry@publicguardian.gov.sg

3. Registrar of Advance Medical Directives
An Advance Medical Directive (AMD) is a legal document that you sign in advance to inform the doctor treating you (in the event you become terminally ill and unconscious) that you do not want any extraordinary life-sustaining treatment to be used to prolong your life. Anyone who is 21 years old and above, and of sound mind can make an AMD.

Add: Ministry of Health, College of Medicine Building, 16 College Road, Singapore 169854
Tel: + 65 6325 9136
FAQ: Brochure

A. Advance Medical Directive

Forms published by the Ministry of Health:

B. Lasting Power of Attorney

Office of the Public Guardian: LPA Forms
Forms relating to the lasting power of attorney.

C. Deputyship

Singapore Courts: Forms
Under "All topics" menu bar, scroll down to Deputyship. Forms listed include:

Family Justice Courts Practice Directions: Appendix A
Forms 217 - 224

D. Mental Capacity

Singapore Courts: Forms
Search for forms using the keyword "mental capacity":

E. Vulnerable Adults

Singapore Courts: Forms
Under "All topics" menu bar, scroll down to Vulnerable adults. Forms listed include::

Family Justice Courts Practice Directions: Appendix A
Forms 64A - 64H

A selection of guides and books on mental capacity, deputyship and LPA:

A. Guides

Deputy Applications Under the Mental Capacity Act - Writing the Medical Report
Article by Lim Hui Min, Director of the Legal Aid Bureau which provides guidance on writing the medical report which needs to be exhibited in a doctor’s affidavit accompanying the deputy application. See also:

The Deputyship Regime Under Singapore's Mental Capacity Act: An Introduction
Article published by Allen Sng Kiat Peng and Kah-Wai Tan which provides a map for those who wish to be acquainted with the deputyship regime. It also examines the practical issues that litigants-in-person have faced and considers some solutions to help them.

B. Books

Search for more books on mental capacity and mental health law in our library catalogue, LINChttps://linc.nus.edu.sg/search/

Research Librarian

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Su-Lin Lee
Contact:
C J Koh Law Library
469D Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259773
Phone: +65 6516 2042
Subjects: Law