Today we are recognizing National Healthcare Decisions Day, intended to empower and inspire people to prepare or review their advance directives. An advance directive, sometimes called a living will, is a legal document that outlines your health care preferences in the event that you become unable to make or communicate those choices. As part of the document, you choose a person, your “health care agent,” who will advocate for you during times when you so not have decision-making capacity.
We frequently receive questions about advance care planning and Act 39 (Medical Aid in Dying) in the context of dementia or severe cognitive decline. People ask us whether they can direct the use of medical aid in dying in advance, specifically in the case of dementia. The short answer is no. However there are steps you can take to help avoid prolonged life with severe dementia.
We receive a variety of messages from our supporters that let us know our work has had a significant impact on their lives. Here's a recent example:
"I watched every video on the PCV website. It gave me great comfort and knowledge about what to expect as my husband and I navigated the Act 39 process." ...from a recent thank-you note.
One of the most-watched videos (with over 500 views) is that of Peggy and Samantha Stevens in our Living While Leaving series, sharing their loving memories of Eric Stevens during his journey using medical aid in dying.