It is a good idea to think ahead about who you would want to make health care decisions for you if you could not make these decisions yourself. Anyone could lose this ability, even for a short time. 

personal directive lets you choose someone to make health care and other personal care decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself. It can give that person guidelines to follow for making decisions.

Advance planning is important for all stages of life. Personal directives help to make sure the decisions you would want are made when you cannot make them yourself, even for a short time. This includes permanent incapacity, such as a brain injury, where you may live in the community for many years with assistance. A personal directive is also intended for use at the end of your life. It helps you get the level of comfort and care you want.

This guide can help you start to answer some of your questions about personal directives. 

You will find more information about personal directives on the Nova Scotia Department of Justice website.  You can also find an information booklet, instructions for writing a personal directive, and a sample form.

Reviewed October 2018