An increasing number of people do not want to be kept alive by artificial means. They want to die naturally, with dignity. You may hire a notary to record your instructions in a protection mandate in case of incapacity or in a document commonly called a “living will.” This document should not be confused with the other three types of wills stipulated by law. A living will takes effect during your lifetime, while the wishes listed in a will have no effect until after your death.

A protection mandate in case of incapacity may contain certain provisions for end-of-life conditions and for organ and tissue donation (acceptance or rejection). The mandatary will be able to comply with these provisions only after obtaining a judgment of homologation or a judgment confirming the notarized minutes.

End-of-life instructions are a good indication of a patient’s wishes. When recorded by notarized deed, they will no longer be a source of ambiguity or questions for your relatives or the attending physician: they are a free and informed statement of your wishes.

Once provided to the doctor, the document will be an important part of your medical record. Whether or not they are recorded by notarized deed, these instructions do not have absolute legal force, though, as attending physicians are not legally required to comply if their professional judgment dictates otherwise.

Source: Chamber of Notaries in Quebec


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