Help is available for you to make decisions about your future health care.
Advance care planning is often referred to as incapacity planning. It is the process of thinking about and writing down your wishes or instructions, in the event you become incapable of making decisions yourself. It includes choosing the people you want to make decisions for you, if you are unable to make decisions yourself.
As of September 1, 2011, if you are a resident of BC, you have a legal means to ensure that your wishes and decisions are followed when you cannot speak for yourself. There are two types of decisions that you will want to consider:
- healthcare decisions
- financial decisions.
The first step in Advance Care Planning is to request (from your healthcare team) or download the booklet called My Voice from the BC Ministry Health website. This booklet will guide you through healthcare decision-making by considering your own beliefs and values. It will assist you in talking with the important people in your life about difficult healthcare issues.
What legal documents are used in BC?
Legal documents ensure that your health-care and financial decisions are followed when you are unable to make decisions on your own behalf. You must be capable of making decisions at the time the document is written. These documents are called:
- Representation Agreements
- Advance Directive
- Enduring Power of Attorney
A Will is another legal document that you are encouraged to make that ensures your property and assets are dispersed according to your instructions, after death. If someone dies without a Will the office of the Public Guardian & Trustee, Estate Administration may need to become involved.
For more information about Advance Care Planning visit the Ministry of Health Advance Care Planning or Ministry of Justice Incapacity Planning page.