Roughly comparable to Powers of Attorney for financial decisions, Representation Agreements allow someone you choose to make personal and health care decisions for you if you have lost the capacity to do so yourself.
A Representation Agreement is a legally binding contract in which you authorize your representative to act on your behalf and you give them specific instructions about your health care wishes should you become incapacitated in the future. Having an Agreement in place helps to relieve some of the stress placed on your loved ones when making potentially life-altering decisions on your behalf.
The Agreement usually only comes into effect when you are no longer capable of giving informed consent to a major health care decision.
- Representation Agreements differ from Living Wills in a number of ways. Living Wills typically only state end-of-life wishes and are considered by some to be only morally binding documents in BC. Representation Agreements are legally binding on the representatives, and authorize them to make most personal and healthcare decisions on your behalf.
- Representation Agreements differ from Advance Directives because they cover a broader variety of circumstances and they bind one or more representatives to act on your behalf. Advance Directives are akin to living wills, in that they typically only state end-of-life wishes, but unlike living wills, they are legally binding in BC.