It is important to plan for your future, especially when it comes to your health. If you have a serious chronic condition or if you are getting older, it is especially important to plan. It helps your health care provider provide better care if you are able to explain what measures you would want should you become suddenly very ill.
What is Advanced Care Planning?
Why is it important to talk about critical illness?
How Do you go about Planning for your Future
Where can I find the necessary forms for advanced care planning?
Here is a link to My Voice from BC – you could use these forms to help your health care provider have an idea of what you would like for your health care future. Look for representative forms, advanced care planning forms. They do look confusing but your family doctor can help point you in the right direction.
When thinking about procedures or directives for your health care, consider some of these questions. Many of them are questions we ask around the time of end of life care. Would I consider having –
Feeding tubes through the intestine – which requires a small surgery and maybe a local or general anesthetic
Mechanical Ventilation with a machine that breathes for you or Assisted Ventilation like BiPap that helps you breathe
Electric shocks for cardiac arrest – you could decide you only want that if the arrest is witnessed or you could decide how long you would like to have measures during cardiac arrest.
You could decide how long you would accept heroic measures – in hours, or days, or weeks.
You could decide on comfort measures only
Decide if you would want major life saving surgery or only be kept comfortable.
I hope this helps sort some of the confusion of end of life care.