The latest edition of the Law Times includes an article discussing the apparent problem of the medical profession’s misunderstanding of the wishes of a capable patient.
In other words, the medical profession may be ignoring (or misinterpreting) Representation Agreements and other documents that people sign expressing their health-care wishes when they become incapable of making their own decisions.
The article cites an example of a patient signing a non-resuscitation consent form. It was sensible, but a physician thought it meant that the patient did not want treatment and took the patient off of their Parkinson’s disease medication.
The article says, and rightly so, that the area is evolving. B.C. introduced new legislation three years ago, and in my opinion, the fact is it takes time before the (always busy) medical profession becomes familiar with the documents and the interpretation of them. It will take years.
In addition, the family (if there is one) must make sure that the document – be it a Representation Agreement, Advance Directive, etc. – is brought to the attention of the health-care professionals so that they will follow it.
This ad ran in the Richmond Review on October 24, 2014.