Did you know that if you do not have a prior capable wish concerning your end of life decisions and you are not capable of making the decision yourself your doctor can put a do not resuscitate on your chart?
Ontario statutorily allows for the use of no heroic measures clauses, living wills and health care proxies through the Substitute Decisions Act 1992. A power of attorney for personal care (POA) can be a living will and health care proxy in one document. The power of attorney can only be used upon the person’s incapacity and the named attorney must make decisions based on the POA and if the POA does not provide for the situation then the attorney makes their decisions based on the standards set out in the Health Care Consent Act 1996.
While most of us just hope that we will never have to worry about a loved one having to make the decision to remove life support or withhold treatment, the fact is that it does happen and it is easier on family and the medical professionals around you if you put your wishes in writing. This can easily be done with an addition to your power of attorney for personal care by your trusts and estates lawyer.
Until next time,