COVID-19 and your Personal Directive

Couple signing paperwork

Prepare a Personal Directive now…don’t leave health care decisions up to your family during these uncertain times. Even during a pandemic you still have choices regarding your health care and end of life decisions. Putting those personal choices into a preciously laid out personal directive will take the burden off your family members, assist front-line health care practitioners and ensure your needs (be it medical, emotional, spiritual, etc.) during times of serious illness are met.

As we know, the COVID-19 virus does not discriminate and can affect the young, the old, the healthy, the immune suppressed, etc. If you are over 18 years of age, you have choices regarding how you want to be treated during a serious illness. For instance: ventilator or no ventilator, blood transfusion or no blood transfusion, heroics or no heroics. Preparing a formal personal directive allows you to name a person(s) (known as an Agent) you trust to make decisions for you and specifically addresses those choices that are important to you. Consider it like a road map for your agent.

As COVID-19 makes its way across the globe and continues to affect communities, many front-line healthcare practitioners have discovered most patients do not have any form of health care directive regarding ventilators, resuscitation, transfusions and other care. In Alberta, writing a personal directive is voluntary and often times people are not aware of what the document is let alone how important it is. The lack of this document forces healthcare practitioners to contact families to make urgent decisions during an already stressful time. Letting your health care providers know your wishes provides them with comfort in knowing they are caring for you the way you want to be cared for and provides them with a contact person (Agent) as opposed to having to navigate decisions from distressed family members. Planning in advance by speaking with your loved ones; putting your personal decisions onto paper; and providing a copy to your Agent so they know what needs to be done if the time comes, just seems like a logical choice.

Not sure where to begin? Give SN Law Office a call at 780-250-6666 to discuss. Given the challenges COVID-19 has presented, we are happy to meet with you via teleconferencing to discuss your wishes and provide draft documents via email transmission for review and consideration.

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