Click to listen highlighted text!

Blog

The Right to Die: Power of Attorney for Personal Care

What we once called “Living Wills” was re-named “Power of Attorney for Personal Care” in 1995 when the Ontario government changed the laws and enacted the Substitute Decisions Act (SDA) in addition to the Health Care Consent Act (HCCA). If you made Powers of Attorney at all before 1995, they were General Powers of Attorney that covered management of your financial affairs as well as your health care. The new Substitute Decisions Act (SDA) and the Power of Attorney for Personal Care (POAPC) is definitely a change for the better.

The Right to Die: Power of Attorney for Personal CareFocusing on the Power of Attorney for Personal Care (POAPC), thoughtful lawyers recommend that you not only sign a POAPC, but that you also sign a Schedule that is essentially a “Letter of Wishes”. The “Letter of Wishes” instructs your named Attorney(s) (i.e. your spouse, adult child, or friend) that if there is no hope for your recovery – you want to be let go naturally and not be kept alive by artificial means. You can also indicate that you want medication to keep you comfortable and to manage your pain and suffering. If you feel this way, you should definitely sign a Power of Attorney for Personal Care (POAPC) and “Letter of Wishes”. An absence of this “Letter of Wishes” is a statement that you want to be kept alive as long as possible, by any means possible.

Why do you need a Power of Attorney for Personal Care (POAPC)? Basically, because hospitals want to avoid litigation and will not take any risks if there are conflicting instructions. What happens in the absence of a POAPC or if the doctors and/or named Attorneys cannot agree on what is in the patient’s best interests is a whole other topic for another day, especially in light of the recent 2013 Supreme Court of Canada ruling in this area that will now govern what happens in these situations moving forward.

I will leave you with a comment that I make to all my clients seeking advice on Powers of Attorney. If you feel strongly that you would not want to live in a vegetative state and feel it would compromise your dignity that you value if that were to occur, then it is vital that you have a Power of Attorney for Personal Care (POAPC). The added benefit is that you ease the guilt of your loved ones who will make this decision on your behalf if you do not have the mental capacity to make those decisions for your self. Also, even if you are capable of making that decision yourself, if you don’t have a Power of Attorney for Personal Care (POAPC), the hospital with ask you to sign a “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR), when you are already distressed which is less than ideal!

Nachla Law Office is a law firm specializing in all aspects of Family Law, Wills and Estates, and Real Estate. The lawyers and support staff of Nachla Law Office reside in Oakville and are dedicated to the community. They have three lawyers in the office with extensive experience in the areas of Powers of Attorney for Personal Care (POAPC), Continuing Powers of Attorney for Property, Estate Planning, Wills and Estates and Probate. Dorisa Nachla is a graduate of the University of Windsor Law School, and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1998.

For more information on home health care services, contact iCare Home Health Services at info@icarehomehealth.ca. iCare Home Health Services is a community based Home Health Care services agency servicing the Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Mississauga ON areas. Service offerings range from “Friend at Home” companion care, “Personal Support at Home” PSW services, to “Nurse at Home” nursing assistance to basic “. We also offer a suite of custom Hospital Discharge, Respite and Live-In Care Packages.

ABOUT iCare Home Health

iCare Home Health is a private boutique home health care agency operating in the Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington and Milton communities. iCare Home Health is also a member of the Ontario Home Care Association (OHCA) and provides a wide range of home health care services including Companion, Personal Support, Nursing, Foot care and Navigator services. We also offer a suite of custom Hospital Discharge, Respite and Live-In Care Packages. In support of the iCare philosophy of "Making a Difference" in our communities, iCare Home Health actively supports local hospitals in Halton and Peel regions, and Alzheimer Societies among other health organizations. For more information about iCare Home Health services, please visit www.icarehomehealth.ca (the best way to stay connected is to Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitterand subscribe to our newsletter.

Or of course you could always just give us a call to discuss your own individual Care needs.

avatar

President of iCare Home Health Services, a community based, boutique home health care company dedicated to serving the needs of our customers to maintain their quality of life and dignity while they recover from illness or age at the comfort of their own home.

Posted in iCare Spotlight
avatar
Written by
Rick Menassa
President of iCare Home Health Services, a community based, boutique home health care company dedicated to serving the needs of our customers to maintain their quality of life and dignity while they recover from illness or age at the comfort of their own home.
check-out-newslettercheck-out-newsroom

Request a free assessment

Enter Captacha Code

captcha

Click to listen highlighted text!