You should decide who will make medical decisions and speak for you if you become too sick and cannot speak for yourself. Think carefully about who would be willing and able to make these decisions for you. This person will be your Substitute Decision Maker. They may be your husband or wife, or an adult child, or even a good friend.

On the next page, you will be asked to provide information about your Substitute Decision Maker.

Your substitute Decision maker will make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so. Here are some things to consider when choosing a Substitute Decision Maker:

  • Do I trust this person to make health care decisions that reflect my wishes?
  • Can they communicate clearly with my health team?
  • Can they make difficult decisions during stressful times?
  • Is this person willing and available to speak for me if I couldn’t speak for myself?

Legal requirements regarding who would be a substitute decision maker varies across provinces/territories. Some provinces require your to complete a specific legal form if you wish to appoint or name a SDM.

Life changes, and so may your wishes and values about your health care or end-of-life care. It’s important to regularly review your wishes for future health care (advance care planning) and communication with your Substitute Decision Maker, especially if your health changes, or there’s a major change in your life.

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