You can find this information and more in The Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia’s book, It’s In Your Hands. For the chapter Health and Other Personal Care Decisions, click here

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

A personal directive lets you choose someone to make health and other personal care decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself. You can set out your instructions, wishes, values and beliefs about personal care in the future.

If you think ahead about what kinds of care you might want, you have a better chance of getting that care. You can also make it easier for the people who make those decisions for you.  

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. They are also intended for permanent incapacity, such as a brain injury where you may live in the community for many years with assistance. They are also intended for use at the end of your life. A personal directive helps you get the level of comfort and care you want.

The information on this page can help you start to answer some of your questions about personal directives, health and other personal care decision-making.

Making your personal directive is part of being ready for the future.  Two other documents are also important: your will and your enduring power of attorney.  See the sections on Wills and Powers of Attorney for information about those documents.

Last reviewed: March 2022