Making the Tough Decisions
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​Making a decision to express one’s wishes to loved ones and to health professionals about what type of care is desired as health deteriorates will be one of the most difficult things a person has to do. Many thoughts and emotions surface, yet it is a fact of life that one day we will all die.

Considerations for declining health

The last stages of a serious illness can be so hard. You may feel like you have lost control over your life and what will happen to you.

As health deteriorates, making a decision to express one’s wishes to loved ones and to health professionals about what type of care is desired will be one of the most important things a person has to do.

Advance care planning

Advance care planning is making a plan for future health care while you are still able to make health care decisions for yourself.  It can be hard to think and talk about the end of one's life but it’s best to do these things before a crisis occurs. Talk with loved ones and health professionals about the kinds of care that is or is not preferred, including conversations to continue or to abandon life-support measures. Don’t assume that family and health professionals know what you want.

Medical Order Scope of Treatment (MOST)

MOST is a medical order that tells health care providers what treatment is to be provided. It is intended to be completed for persons with advancing chronic illness, or have health concerns or circumstances that are important to communicate to your health care team.  

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and life support

Talk to your doctor about advancing illness, specific treatment options, and chances for recovery.  A key part of this process is including family in these conversations to discuss options together and clearly state end of life wishes and preferences. Some people who are facing death have strong and definite feelings about CPR, and the decision for or against life support may be easy. For others this decision is extremely difficult. Get the facts about CPR and life support.

Artificial hydration and nutrition

Many family members often feel concern when their loved one is no longer able to take food or fluids by mouth. This is usually a normal and natural slowing of the body’s functions, and hunger and thirst will ease away. Talk with your physician and health care team about this important topic. Learn about the choices for artificial hydration and nutrition.

Organ donation

One organ donor can save up to 8 lives. To be an organ donor in BC you must be in a critical care unit on a breathing machine, with no hope of recovery. Once the declaration of death has been made and the organ donation conversation has occurred with the family, BC Transplant will be contacted by the hospital staff to check the Registry to verify if the patient registered their decision. If a decision is recorded, BC Transplant will print a copy of the registration form and share the information with the family. Learn more the organ donation process.

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)

Interior Health is working hard to ensure the people within our communities have access to the highest standard of compassionate and respectful care, while ensuring staff and physicians provide services within the law. Following a Supreme Court of Canada ruling, medical assistance in dying (MAiD) is available to all Canadians.

As a step towards reconciliation, Interior Health acknowledges the land that we live, work, and play on as the traditional territories of the Dakelh Dene, Ktunaxa, Nlaka’pamux, Secwepemc, St’at’imc, Syilx and Tsilhqot’in peoples. It is with humility that we continue to strengthen our relationships with the First Nation, Métis, and Inuit peoples of the interior.
MoH     PCQO