Advance Care Directives

What is an Advance Care Directive?

An Advance Care Directive is most often a document, written while you are well and able to make decisions, in which you state your wishes for medical or non-medical care, just in case you become unable to speak for yourself at some time in the future. 


Why should you have an Advance Care Directive?

In a medical emergency or in any other circumstance that leaves you unable to communicate, for example if you have a stroke or if you are in a coma, your Advance Care Directive will assert your right to choose what you want or do not want in the way of medical treatment and care. It will help those responsible for your care to decide on your treatment. It will help your family to understand and support the decisions that you would have made yourself. 

There is no legal requirement for you to have an Advance Care Directive. Only you can create it – no one else can do it for you. But if you do not have an Advance Care Directive, others may not know your wishes and you may be subjected to aggressive or life-prolonging medical interventions that you would not want. On the other hand, you may have a specific medical condition for which you do want all available treatment. Start the process now of creating your Advance Care Directive by thinking about your personal values and the everyday pleasures that make life worth living.

An Advance Care Planning Kit ( invites you to think about and express your wishes for health care and treatment at the end of life. The kit is intended to provoke thinking, conversation and planning, and to encourage communication between you, your family and your health care providers.