April 16 2024 is Advance Care Planning Day. .



These true ACP stories may help you to jumpstart your own advance care plan, or to open an essential conversation with someone you care about.

Advance Care Planning is part of life planning.

You might have done some other types of life planning already – such as preparing a will, saving for retirement or appointing a guardian for your child.

Advance Care Planning is another type of life planning… it’s planning ahead for your future health and personal care.

Steps to Creating Your Advance Care Plan

Step 1: Download the Advance Care Planning Guide.
The B.C. government's advance care planning guide is called My Voice: Expressing My Wishes for Future Health Care Treatment. You can use it to learn about advance care planning and also to make your own advance care plan that will serve as your voice in the future. Please note that you can select the pages to print from the document below (i.e. forms).  You do not have to print the entire document.

If you wish to order hard copies of the My Voice: Expressing My Wishes for Future Health Care Treatment guide in single or in bulk (English only), please visit Crown Publication’s website http://www.crownpub.bc.ca/Product/Details/7610003494_S or by calling Crown Publications staff Monday through Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm Pacific Standard Time at:  Telephone: 250 387-6409 or 1 800 663-6105 (toll-free in BC). A charge for shipping and handling, plus applicable taxes will be applied to your order.

If you are an employee of a health authority, please contact your health authority’s advance care planning lead. Contact information may be available on your internal website.

Step 2: Have family conversations about your beliefs, values and wishes.
Every advance care plan starts with conversations between you and your trusted family members or friends. It may feel hard to get started, but usually the people who care about you will understand the need for these conversations.

Step 3: Decide what health care treatments you will or won’t accept, and note them in the guide.
It’s important to think about when you might want to accept life-supporting interventions — things like breathing machines, or feeding tubes. You should also think about when you might prefer not to have life support or life-prolonging interventions.

Step 4: Gather the contact information for the people who could be individually asked to be your Temporary Substitute Decision Maker (TSDM) if a health care decision is needed for you, and write it down in the guide.
If you don’t like the order of people to be asked on the Temporary Substitute Decision Maker list, or if you have many adult children, or if you would rather have your friend, not your brother for example, be asked to make health care decisions for you, then you can choose the person you want to decide for you by naming them as your Representative in a legally binding Representation Agreement, so that your health care provider can ask them instead.

Step 5: Put your Advance Care Plan in a safe, accessible place.
Your Advance Care Plan is a really important document. If you have a chronic health condition, if you engage in high-risk activities, or even if you’re just marking a significant birthday, you should have an Advance Care Plan. Make sure the people who need it, can find it, quickly. You can change your advance care plan at any time as long as you remain capable.

If you need help finding the advance care planning guide, call HealthLink BC, toll-free at 8-1-1 (dial 7-1-1 for deaf and hearing-impaired [TTY] assistance).

More Advance Care Planning Resources


Watch the video Advance Care Planning in BC: