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Making Difficult Decisions

What is a substitute decision maker?

Under the Health Care Consent Act (Ontario 1996), all residents are seen as capable unless found to be otherwise. “Capable” means being able to understand the treatment being proposed, and able to understand and appreciate the consequences of having/not having the treatment. The substitute decision-maker will be approached to make decisions only when a resident is found to be incapable with respect to a particular treatment decision.

Learn more about being a substitute decision maker

What is a power of attorney (POA) for personal care?

A legal document in which one person gives another person the authority to make personal care decisions on their behalf if they become mentally incapable. Personal care includes: healthcare, nutrition, shelter, clothing, hygiene and safety. The Attorney for Personal Care acts for the incapable person, when the patient who appoints them becomes incapable.

What is a continuing power of attorney for property?

A legal document in which one person gives another person the authority to make decisions about their finances if they become incapable to make those decisions themselves. The “attorney” appointed does not have to be a lawyer. Property includes: finances, spending, assets and debts e.g. paying bills, doing taxes, selling a house, etc