How do I communicate my wishes?
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​An advance care plan is made up of documents that record your specific health care wishes and instructions. 

An Advance Care Plan includes a range of topics from:

  • personal beliefs, values and wishes
  • health care treatment options
  • assignment of representatives (Substitute Decision Maker) to help with financial and health care decisions, and
  • legal written health care instructions (Advance Directive).

Your advance care plan would be used by your health care team and/or Substitute Decision Maker to guide decisions in the event you are unable to make them for yourself. You can change your mind about treatment, including changing or cancelling your Advance Care Plan at any time. There is no formal Advance Care Plan template in British Columbia.

Advance Directive is a legal document that includes your written instructions for consent or refusal of health care treatment options. If you have chosen a representative they must follow the instructions in your advance directive.

The legal requirements for an advance directive are that it be in writing and signed by you when you are capable, and that it be witnessed by two adults or one person if the witness is a lawyer or notary public.

The witnesses must:

  • be 19 years of age or older
  • be able to understand the type of communication or language you use, unless an interpreter is present.
  • not be a person who provides paid personal care, health care or financial services to you (other than a practicing lawyer or notary public) or be that paid person’s spouse, child, parent or employee.  

It is recommended that you provide a copy of your advance directive to members of your family and health care team who are leading your care, i.e. your doctor/nurse practitioner, home care nurse, etc. 

For more information on personal or health care planning documents visit the BC Ministry of Health Incapacity Planning page

MoH     PCQO