Common Questions

What is a "living will" and is one available in BC?

Living will is a term that originated from the United States and is not a legal document in BC.

The term ‘living will’ has been used to describe a person’s written wishes for their health care treatments, and particularly treatments they do not want in an end-of-life situation.

There are legal personal planning options available in BC to address health care wishes for “end of life” situations, and to plan for the future.

1) Representation Agreement Section 9 - a way for you to give legal authority on comprehensive health care and personal care matters to someone you trust.

2) Representation Agreement Section 7 – a way for you to give legal authority on routine finances, health care and personal care matters to someone you trust.

3) Advance Directive – new as of September 1, 2011, a legal document in BC which allows you to provide written instructions to give or refuse consent to certain health care matters, if you become incapable and a health care decision needs to be made. It must be made when the adult is capable of understanding the nature and effect of what it covers. An Advance Directive can NOT cover personal care matters.

However, an advance directive may not be a comprehensive way to address future health care decisions. A Representation Agreement Section 9 can be more comprehensive.

Good starting points include: 

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Last reviewed August 2018 by the Clicklaw Editors and Seniors First BC
tags
advance directive, representation agreement, enduring power of attorney, living will, health care, DNR (do not resuscitate) order, committee, nomination of committee