If you can’t speak for yourself, who will make your medical decisions?

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  • Margaret Adamson says:

    Preplanning a funeral to avoid stress, over-spending and carrying out one’s wishes at the time of death is a goal of memorial societies. The Funeral Advisory and Memorial Society is a non-profit, volunteer run society which provides help to consumers. FAMS has many thousands of members in Ontario and is run by a volunteer Board of Trustees.

    I believe your readers would find FAMS helpful.

  • GERARD Ryan says:

    It is very selfish of anyone to not let it be clearly known to your loved ones the directions you want followed in the event of a sudden death , illness , catastrophe , etcetera .
    Consider your loved ones and not your own selfish bias of fearing death or incapicitation . There are many , many steps that loved ones must take very quickly with no time for consulting family, near and far away. The Tragic loss is hard enough to bear without the added burden of making crucial decisions and not knowing what to do.

    Decisions such as these should be in writing , in the hands of family or friend who can readily provide that information to caretakers, EMT , Doctors, funeral homes , etcetera , etcetera .
    Everyone dies eventually and many with no advance notice. Do your family a favour and act responsibly – discuss it as soon as possible and put it in writing.

  • Suzanne Everett says:

    Thanks for this.

  • Allyn Walsh says:

    It’s not unreasonable to wait until a patient is 65 to start discussing advance care planning, but we should ALL be making our wishes clear to our families, including you, Dr. Berlin. Young people sometimes have medical emergencies and can’t speak for themselves too. Once you begin working and accumulate possessions you should have a will. Register as an organ donor and tell your family if that’s what you want. Death is inevitable: let’s face facts while we also take care to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Don’t wait til you are 65. Or 45. Or even 25.


Noam Berlin


Noam Berlin is a family medicine resident at the University of Toronto. Before medical school he worked in a long term care home as a recreational therapy assistant. He is passionate about palliative care and comprehensive family medicine.

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