Who Decides? You do …
It is best to make your wishes known to your loved
ones before the stress of an illness or hospitalization occurs. However,
if you become ill, you are the decision-maker with the support of your
family and the health care team.
If you become unable to express your health care wishes,
an Advance Directive can communicate on your behalf. An Advance
Directive can take two forms: an explanation of your wishes written on
paper; or a proxy directive, which explains who will convey your wishes
to the health care team. They can be difficult to write precisely – we
can suggest some resources freely available on the world wide web. One
good place to start is: http://www.advancecareplanning.ca/
If you do not write anything down, try to have some open
discussions with those who will be your decision makers if you are too
ill to make them for yourself. There is a legal framework in Ontario
to decide who makes health care decisions on behalf of another – it’s
all in the Health Care Consent Act. You can appoint a specific Power
of Attorney for Personal Care – the Act recognizes this. We can give
you more information if you wish.
Plan for End of Life Care
It rarely feels like
the right time to talk about end of life plans, but the best time is
when there’s no crisis. We should all discuss our end of life care plan
with our loved ones and our health care providers.
These are tough conversations that take a lot of thinking
and some courage. Let your family, friends and caregivers support you.
Discuss your wishes in the event that a decision needs to be made
pertaining to your end of life care.
What is CPR?
resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure that is done when a
person stops breathing or their heart stops beating. It includes
mouth-to-mouth breathing (artificial respiration) and chest
compressions to manually restart heart pumping from outside of the body
In the hospital, CPR may lead to other treatments, such as
medication or electric shock (defibrillation) to restart the heart,
and tubes or machines (intubation) to help a person breathe. If
successful, CPR restores both breathing and heartbeat.
Does CPR Work?
intended for use in emergency situations to treat sudden, unexpected
death in otherwise healthy people due to heart attack or drowning.
CPR was not intended for people who are terminally ill,
who have very complex diseases or those with progressive degenerative
diseases. There is little evidence that CPR will benefit these people.
Talk with your family and health care team about your
feelings toward CPR. Ask your health care team about your condition and
whether CPR would be a suitable treatment for you.
Make your wishes known
CPR" order means that if no signs of life are present, nature is
allowed to take its course and no medical intervention is made in an
effort to prolong the person's life.
Should you request a "No CPR" order, full medical, nursing
and supportive care will continue during your stay to ensure you are
kept comfortable and without pain or other unpleasant symptoms. In
addition, some lab work and tests may continue to be done to monitor
and determine whether or not there are any further treatment needs
If further treatment options become available you can always change your mind or cancel the "No CPR" order at any time.