New Advance Care Planning Toolkit

December 3, 2019 Rebecca Kennedy Uncategorized Tags: , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Recently, the Advance Care Planning in Canada initiative, led by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, released a new resource to assist with advance care planning and choosing a substitute decision maker.

The “Speak Up” initiative includes two complementary resources.

One resource is the “Living Well, Planning Well” legal toolkit. The development of this toolkit was funded by Health Canada. The legal toolkit was designed to be used by lawyers and their clients, to encourage conversations and reflections about clients’ wishes for advance care planning, and putting appropriate arrangements in place.

The other resource is a public toolkit. It provides plain language information regarding the laws and processes with respect to advance care planning and substitute decision-making throughout Canada. This is helpful as the laws can vary between the provinces and territories.

It is very important to consider advance care planning, and to implement plans as early as possible. In particular, everyone should consider executing a power of attorney, to ensure that they are able to select the person responsible for making decisions on their behalf when they are no longer capable. Without a power of attorney, in Ontario, the ultimate decision as to who will make decisions on an incapable person’s behalf (other than those captured by the Health Care Consent Act, 1996), is left to the court. The court takes such matters very seriously, but most people prefer that the choice of substitute decision maker be their own.

Something else to contemplate is speaking with your family and friends, especially with your named attorney, regarding your wishes. As we enter the holiday season, and plan gatherings with our friends and family, consider taking this opportunity to have a conversation in this regard.

You can review Speak Up’s post about the release of their toolkit here.

Thanks for reading,

Rebecca Rauws

 

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