NEW legislation will give Gibraltarians more control over their healthcare treatment when they no longer have the mental capacity to make decisions.

The Lasting Powers of Attorney and Capacity Bill was passed unanimously by the government on February 16.

Any Gibraltarian wishing to make a decision can file their requests at the Supreme Court Registry and if the time comes, the attorney appointed under that document will have the authority to act on their behalf.

“Persons living, amongst other things, with mental disorders, who no longer have the mental capacity to express their wishes, should be able to receive such care and treatment as they need and want,” said the Minister for Health, Neil Costa.

“It is the second part which is so crucial.

“A person has the right to choose what may be done with their body or their mind in the event that they lose their mental capacity in the future.”

The Act permits Gibraltarians to request any specific medical treatment is carried out if they no longer have the capacity to consent to it, and in turn, refuse any medication.

It also allows someone to appoint a trusted guarantor who can make important decisions for them in the future.

New safeguards will cover the length of time someone with a suspected mental health condition, such as dementia or a personality disorder, can be clinically assessed  to protect Gibraltarians against unnecessary restrictions on their personal freedom.