Advance Care Planning


Advance care planning helps you have a say about the health care you would like to receive if you get very sick and cannot speak for yourself. It is a way for you to reflect on your personal values, wishes and beliefs to make your own future health care decisions.

Start the conversation

Every advance care plan starts with conversations between you and trusted family members or friends. Discussing with your family and friends now about what level of care you do and do not want in the future will decrease their anxiety and help them to feel confident about your decisions when they need to make decisions on your behalf.

Starting the conversation with family & friends:

  • I want you to be prepared if you had make decisions on my behalf.  
  • I want to make sure you understand and could honour my wishes.  
  • I want to talk with you about what is important to me
  • I would like you to go with me to medical appointments.
  • I think it’s really important all of the family understand my wishes.

Starting the conversation with a loved one:

  • I want to be prepared if I had to make decisions on your behalf
  • I want to make sure I understand and could honour your wishes
  • I want to hear about what is important to you
  • I would like to go to medical appointments with you so I understand what is going on with your health
  • I think it’s really important we all talk together about this, all of the family and your friends

Starting the conversation with your doctor:

  • What treatments may be offered to me, based on my health, in one year or two years or five years?
  • Which of my health conditions are easily treatable?  Which are not?
  • How might the proposed treatments improve or worsen my daily life as I know it now?
  • Will the proposed treatments require time in hospital?  Or can I get those at home?

Make a plan

Download the Advance Care Planning Guide - My Voice: Expressing My Wishes for Future Health Care Treatment

  • Write down your beliefs, values and wishes for future health care treatment.  Decide what treatments you will or won't accept.
  • Write down the contact information for the people who could be asked to be your temporary substitute decision maker if a health care decision is needed for you.
  • Put your plan in a safe, accessible place and give copies to your doctor, family or friend.
  • Review or change your plan as needed.

Video: Five steps to guide you through making your plan


Your health care passport. It is a green magnetized wallet for the fridge and holds a list of your medications, substitute decision makers and any advance care planning documents. We recommend you take it with you to all medical appointments, clinic or hospital visits. To order, call 1-877- 825-5034 or email

Related info

Making informed choices about cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

Medical Order for Scope of Treatment: What is it? Should I have one?



For health care professionals

Check out our resources for health care professionals on advance care planning.


For more information, call 1-877-TALK-034 (1-877-825-5034) or email

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