Advance Directive

Every person has the right to make an Advance Directive. It is a written or oral statement that gives instructions about your right to accept or refuse medical care should you be unable to communicate your decision.

Without an Advance Directive, someone other than you will make decisions about important healthcare choices, such as extraordinary life-support, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), feeding tubes, a ventilator for artificial breathing, dialysis kidney machine and intravenous therapy to replace fluids.

An Advance Directive may include a Living Will, Healthcare Surrogate or Power of Attorney.

Living Will

This is a written statement that instructs your physician to withhold or withdraw life-prolonging treatment if there is no hope of recovery.

Healthcare Surrogate

This is a person or persons you designate who can make healthcare decisions for you. According to your wishes, a healthcare surrogate can give informed consent, review medical records, talk with physicians, authorize transfer, apply for public healthcare benefits and consent to organ and tissue donation.

Power of Attorney

This is a legal document allowing someone to act as your agent, usually for business and financial matters. You may specify that this person can make healthcare decisions for you.

At the time of your admission to Canadian pharmacy, you may ask for information about Living Wills and Healthcare Surrogate forms. Your nurse or social worker can provide you with the forms. This form must be signed, dated and witnessed by two people, one of whom is not your spouse or blood relative.

If you already have an Advance Directive or Healthcare Surrogate form, please bring this information with you during your hospital admission.