Advance care planning starts with determining your beliefs, values and wishes for future health care treatment, communicating your wishes to close family and friends, and documenting your choices in the event you become incapable of making your own decisions.

Personal Reflections

Patients have goals other than just living longer

Answers to the following questions will assist health care providers to help you decide what future health care treatments you would or would not accept.

  • What you your goals and priorities? Health and other? i.e. granddaughters wedding or graduation, watch baseball and eat ice cream.

  • What gives you joy? Provides your life with meaning and fullfillment? ie. hobbies, time with family, etc.

  • What are your fears? ie. being a burden on family, struggling to breath.

  • What abilities are critical, something you can't imagine living without? ie. being able to communicate with others

  • What would you not want to have done or go through? ie. being kept alive by machines with no chance of recovery

  • What are you willing to go through for more time? What trade offs are you prepared to make?

Starting the Conversation with Family or Designated Decision Makers

An advance care plan lets you share your wishes with others so you will get the care you want and they have the confidence to make the decisions for you when you can't.

  • I want you to be prepared if you had to make a decision on my behalf.

  • It's important to me family can understand and honor my wishes.

  • I want you to know what my health might look like in the future, and I want you to be prepared and make it easier if you had to make decisions on my behalf.

  • I would like you to go with me to medical appointments, to help understand my health care wishes.

Giving Others Decision Making Authority

There are different types of legal documents in BC that give others decision making authority over various aspects of your life. Below is a summary of the key documents you should be aware of.

Document Decision Making Authority
Enduring Power of Attorney Allows you to appoint another person to make decisions regarding financial and legal affairs only. POA requires a Lawyer or Notary to complete. **No healthcare decisions can be made.
Representation Agreement Allows you to provide a list of capable adults to be representatives to make healthcare and other decisions on your behalf. The people listed in your representation agreement will only be asked to make decisions for you if you are unable to speak for yourself! **Form must be printed and witnessed by two people.
There are two types of agreements: Standard and Enhanced.
Standard Representation Agreement section 7RA Allows your representative to make decisions about routine management of your financial affairs, personal care and some healthcare treatment decisions. **Does not allow Healthcare decisions for you that involve refusing life support or prolonging medical interventions.
Enhanced Representation Agreement section 9RA Allows you to authorize a representative to make personal care and Healthcare decisions on your behalf. **This includes decisions about the acceptance or refusal of life support and life prolonging medical interventions.
If you have not legally documented your decision makers a temporary decision maker will be assigned to you.

Place a copy of your representation agreements in your greensleeve.