April 16 is Advance Care Planning Day – Only 30% of B.C. Adults Have Legal Instructions for Healthcare Decision-making if Unable to Speak for Themselves
For Immediate Release
April 15, 2014
Vancouver, BC—This Wednesday April 16 is Advance Care Planning Day across Canada, and the Society of Notaries Public is encouraging British Columbians, especially baby boomers, to take charge of their own healthcare by planning for a time when they can’t express their own healthcare wishes.
Only 30% of British Columbians have a Representation Agreement in place designating a healthcare decision-maker, and 44% have appointed a Power of Attorney designating someone to act on their behalf in legal or business matters, according to a province-wide poll conducted in March 2014 by Mustel Group for BC Notaries.
The Mustel Group conducted an omnibus telephone poll in March 2014 among 502 adults in BC. It found that only 13% of people in the 18-to-34 age range, 26% between 35 and 54, and 45% of individuals 55+ have a Representation Agreement.
For Powers of Attorney, 26% of people in the 18-to-34 age range, 41.5% between 35 and 54, and 60% of individuals 55+ have appointed a designate or designates.
“Documenting a healthcare decision-maker or healthcare wishes in advance helps medical workers react more quickly and efficiently in an emergency or when a critical decision needs to be made immediately,” says Akash Sablok, President of the Society of Notaries Public of B.C. and an East Vancouver Notary. “It ensures your own wishes will be followed and helps minimize stress and conflict among friends and family.”
Those who don’t have a close friend or family member to represent them—or prefer another approach—can make their own wishes known through an Advanced Directive. As professional legal advisors, BC Notaries have extensive specialized training in preparing all advance care planning documents.
“No one wants to end up in a situation where critical life decisions are made by a stranger, but all too often a personal guardian must be appointed by the Court,” says Kristy Martin, a Victoria Notary. “The best way to avoid this is to have your say in advance through advance planning documents.”
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