You may feel fine today and assume that friends and family will step in. But how familiar are they with your most intimate wishes regarding such issues as emergency interventions, resuscitation, institutional care, and end-of-life decisions?
Residents of British Columbia* can download instructions and forms for a Representation Agreement here. Completing it calls for careful reflection and intimate conversations. Contracting a suitable representative the right person requires time and courage.
If your Agreement is already in place, consider a regular review. Inevitably regulations will change — as well as your state of health, expectations for care, and available treatment options. Your currents representatives may wish to be relased from their responsibility.
It’ll be easy to put this off but please don’t. When I experienced severe chest pain on December 12th and drove myself to the hospial (while having a heart attack), I didn’t realized how close I’d come to dying. On that occasion my representatives weren’t needed — because I remained of sound mind throughout — but one stayed in touch throughout my stay.
Think of this as an act of loving kindness: for your own peace of mind and to support the people who will speak for you when you’re unable.
* If you reside outside BC make sure to follow procedures in your jurisdiction.