Personal Directives in Nova Scotia

The Department of Justice is collaborating with the Department of Health, the Department of Community Services and Office of the Public Trustee to implement the Personal Directives Act.

This Act enables Nova Scotians to document their wishes regarding what personal care decisions are made for them, and/or who makes them, in the event that they are incapacitated and are unable to make these decisions themselves. Personal care decisions include those related to health care, nutrition, hydration, shelter, residence, clothing, hygiene, safety, comfort, recreation, social activities and support services.

The Act enables three things:

  1. It allows individuals to appoint a substitute decision maker to make a personal care decision on their behalf should they become incapable of making the decision.
  2. It allows individuals to set out instructions or general principles about what or how personal care decisions should be made when they are unable to make the decisions themselves.
  3. It provides for a hierarchy of statutory substitute decision makers to make decisions regarding health care, placement in a continuing care home and home care where the individual has not prepared a personal directive in relation to those decisions. The Public Trustee is listed as the last substitute decision maker in the hierarchy.

Planning for the future is important. You should think about who you want to make decisions for you if you are not capable (temporarily or permanently) to make them yourself.

More information:

Preparing a Personal Directive:

Information for Health Care Providers