Session helps with end-of-life care choices

For many people, discussing death and end-of-life care are difficult topics.

  • Apr. 1, 2015 7:00 p.m.

For many people, discussing death and end-of-life care are difficult topics.

While they may have their own ideas about what kind of end-of-life care they would want in the event of critical illness or accident, it may be too late to voice those preferences, cautions Tracey Kirkman, executive director of the Shuswap North Okanagan Division of Family Practice, a community-based group of family physicians working together with health authorities and community partners to achieve common goals.

For example, she notes, one Lower Mainland woman’s wishes as dictated in a 1991 living will have been over-ruled.

“She had been a nurse and had seen patients in vegetative states due to Alzheimer’s disease and had told her family not to allow the same to happen to her,” says Kirkman, who notes the woman’s family tried to get staff at her care home to stop ‘force-feeding’ her.

“However, earlier this year, the BC Court of Appeal ruled that the care home was not feeding her against her will and that care could continue.”

The Ministry of Health has made available “My Voice,” an Advance Care Planning Guide, to all residents of British Columbia.

This document can help residents to express and clarify their wishes for future health care treatment.

To help individuals work through the guide, the Shuswap North Okanagan Division of Family Practice, Shuswap Hospice Society, Interior Health and legal and financial experts have partnered to present a free information session from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 15 at the Prestige Harbourfront Resort .

For planning purposes, please email admin@shuswaphospice.ca or call 250-832-7099 if you intend to attend this informative event.