Advance Directive/Power of Attorney for Personal Care

If you have prepared an Advanced Directive for your care, please tell a member of the health care team.

The freedom to decide one's medical care is the right of every capable person in Canada. This freedom includes the right to accept or refuse specific health care and/or medical treatments.

  • A living will or advanced directive is a statement of your wishes regarding health care and treatment. The purpose of such a statement is to inform the physicians and nursing staff of your care choices if you become unable to make decisions (if you are unconscious, for example). This will ensure that the care you wish to have can be planned for by your health care team.

  • We want to hear from you. We believe that many patients are able to instruct us regarding their care wishes. Once you have determined your wishes, you can indicate your decision to us by using the Living Will/Advanced Directives Form. A copy of this form will be placed on the front of your chart so all health care staff will be able to access your wishes.

  • If you are too ill to make decisions, your family members or powers of attorney/guardians will make decisions on your behalf. These decisions often cause guilt or conflict and can be very difficult to make at a time of crisis. You can help avoid conflict later on by discussing your wishes in advance with your family, guardian, or the person who holds power of attorney for your personal decisions. You may also designate a substitute decision maker who will make decisions if you are unable to do so. Discussing your wishes ahead of time makes it more possible for your health care team to act on your wishes.

  • We need to know who you designate as a primary contact or substitute decision maker when you are admitted, and keep the information up-to-date. This person will be the contact in an emergency, or in other less urgent situations, or if there is a change in your health status. The name and phone numbers of your substitute decision maker and next of kin will be listed on the front of your chart.

  • You or your substitute decision maker can alter your decision regarding your future health care at any time, especially if your condition changes. Let your wishes be known to the health care team — we will always respect and support your expressed wishes.