Advance Health Care Directives
An Advance Health Care Directive is a legal document that allows a person to write down instructions for their medical care for a future time when they have lost the competence to make or communicate their own health care decisions. This document also allows a person to appoint a Substitute Decision Maker who can make health care decisions on behalf of that person, as well as to communicate with medical professionals.
The requirements for creating a legally valid Advance Health Care Directive can be found in the Newfoundland and Labrador Advance Health Care Directives Act.
A valid Advance Health Care Directive may only be created by a person 16 years of age or older who is competent to make their own health care decisions at the time the document is created. The Advance Health Care Directive must be in writing, signed by the person making the document, and also signed by 2 independent witnesses. An independent witness is someone other than the person appointed as Substitute Decision Maker or that person’s spouse.