We spend a lot of time talking about the importance of living responsibly, which involves preparing for the realities of life. While we believe making the decisions involved in funeral pre-planning is one reflection of a responsible mindset, we also know the critical importance of completing an advance directive.
Sometimes called advance care directives, these document ensure that your wishes will be carried out in the future.
An advance care directive is "used to document your care wishes so your substitute decision-maker can refer to it when making care decisions for you in the future, if and when you can't make those decisions for yourself." When properly signed and witnessed, an advance care directive will provide guidance for medical and health care decisions in the event the individual becomes incompetent and can no longer make such decisions.
Dying with Dignity Canada explains that "writing an Advance Care Plan involves much more than simply filling out a form. It is essential to take time for reflection and discussion to ensure your Plan reflects your values, beliefs and wishes."
There are many resources available online to assist and guide you in writing your Advance Directive.
Where to Obtain an Advance Directive Form
It's fairly easy to get a copy of the advance care directive form for your province. Your local hospital is a reliable source, as federal law requires every hospital to not only provide information about advance directives to people in their service area, they are also required to share valuable information about the related laws in your province. Contact your local hospital to learn more. Your family physician may also have advance directive forms available for patients.
Dying with Dignity Canada also offers Advance Care Planning Kits to assist you in making your advance care directive.