Choosing a healthcare advocate

“I made sure that my spouse’s contact information was on my chart. I also had a note there with big bold letters, saying that if they needed consent, and I was unable to give it or too weak to sign the papers, he was the person they should contact. My mother was the first person that they contacted. It made me feel like I was back to being a child.”


An important part of any plan that you make about your wishes and preferences for healthcare when you’re no longer able to communicate yourself is naming someone who can speak and act for you.

Each province and territory has its laws regarding appointing this person and what they’re legally called. Some of the terms include substitute decision-maker, healthcare agent or proxy; health representative; or health, medical, or personal attorney.