Making Decisions During Care


At Joseph Brant Hospital we are committed to carrying out your wishes as you intended. We strive to ensure patients' substitute decision makers know their rights and what may be required of them. We respect that these decisions can be difficult. You may not always be able to make your own decisions about the healthcare that you receive. It is important to think about planning for the way you wish to be cared for. There are several ways to make your wishes known.

Advance care planning

Advance care planning gives you the opportunity to consider your beliefs and feelings and make your wishes known to those you love and trust. Choosing someone to be your substitute decision maker can help make things easier on your loved ones if you become unable to communicate or make your wishes known.

Advance care directives

An advance care directive is a document that clearly details the type of medical care and treatment you want for yourself. This type of document gives your substitute decision maker the confidence that they are making the decisions you want. It can also help reduce your loved one's stress or conflict about making such decisions. There are two kinds of advance care directives:

  • Living wills can be a simple document where you name the person you want as your secondary or substitute decision maker and write down your wishes so they are clear.
  • Power of Attorney for personal care names your secondary decision maker and gives that person the power to make decisions about your healthcare and treatments. You do not have to consult a lawyer for a power of attorney to be valid, however it is recommended.

Substitute Decision Maker

At Joseph Brant Hospital we want you to be able to make your own decisions surrounding your care for as long as you possibly can. If your illness makes it hard for you to understand the decisions that need to be made it is very helpful to have someone you love and trust who can advocate for you.

Your substitute decision make should be someone who:

  • You trust.
  • Knows and understands your wishes.
  • Is willing, able and available to make decisions for you. 

Your substitute decision maker may have to speak for you in such circumstances as:

  • You are in a permanent coma, you have a terminal illness, stroke or dementia.
  • An important treatment decision such as surgery or tube feeding.
  • Admitting you to a Long Term Care facility.

The following resources will give you more detailed information about these topics.


Consent and Capacity Board
(tel) - 416-327-4142
(fax) - 416-327-4240

Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee

Health Care Consent Act

A Guide to Advance Care Planning is available from the Ontario Senior's Secretariat online at . Search for "A Guide to Advance Care planning" or call the Seniors INFOline at 1-888-910-1999.


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