Below are steps you can take to help protect yourself and your family should they require admittance to a medical facility:
1. Set up a medical personal care Power of Attorney (POA) who can make medical decision when you cannot. Use the form that is available on the provincial government website. It's free, and only requires the signature of two witnesses to make it legally binding.
2. Discuss your wishes for medical treatment, and write them down for your POA.
3. Complete the Personal Standard of Care Declaration form that provides specific direction regarding COVID treatment. Download HERE.
4. Get your affairs in order; get yourself a will, set up a financial POA and communicate your wishes with your family BEFORE something happens.
Below are some tips for communicating with health care professionals to keep them "honest":
1. Download a call recorder to your phone and record all conversations. These tools are free from the app stores (for all devices). It is LEGAL to record a call in Canada if you are part of the conversation!
2. Always follow-up in writing when determining a plan of action. You want to create a "paper" trail, and this will remove any miscommunication and can create better accountability.
3. Raise issues as they arise and set forward an action plan to resolve the issue. Be direct, and be clear about the issue and work to find a solution.
4. Escalate when necessary. If you are not getting what you need, ask to escalate. Move through the level of hierarchy to get what you need.
As many of you may know, Jane Scharf is currently advocating for her friend Farro who was admitted into Ottawa Civic Hospital due to a fall. Jane is Farro's POA and the hospital has NOT been respecting her legal rights, and has been taking actions that are detrimental to Farro's health.
Below are the copies of the letters Jane has written to the hospital expressing the concerns and demanding her POA be respected.
We are sharing these letters to demonstrate that challenges folks are experiencing in hospitals, and how to appropriately respond - to put the onus back on the medical community. At this point Jane is making progress and three times she has taken action that has had positive results on Farro's care, and potentially saved his life.
If it wasn't for Jane tirelessly advocating for Farro, it's possible he may not be with his today..