Monday 25 May, 2020

Health Care Directive forms available online

Individuals wishing to communicate their decisions regarding their future health care are advised that the required form is now available on the Ministry of Health’s website.

The form allows individuals to express specific advance health care directives and/or appoint a proxy to make health care decisions on their behalf should they become mentally incapacitated in the future. 

Scenarios where an individual may consider completing a directive include if the individual does not wish to undergo a specific type of treatment or if they become terminally ill or wish to decline life-sustaining treatment. 

The form also helps to avoid future concerns regarding which family member is authorised to make health care decisions on behalf of their relative, should that person be unable to express their own wishes. 

In instances where an individual decides to appoint a proxy as part of their directive, that person is expected to act consistently with the directive-maker’s wishes. Health care directives will only take effect once the individual/directive-maker is deemed to be mentally incapacitated by a doctor. 

An individual’s directive can be revoked at any time whilst the person is mentally competent. This must be done in writing, signed and dated. Health care directives can only be made by individuals over the age of 18, who are currently considered mentally competent by a doctor. 

Individuals wishing to make a directive are advised that, once they have stipulated their requests, the document is then required to be signed by two witnesses, one of whom must be a doctor. Neither can be the individual’s beneficiary nor proxy. 
Once signed, individuals are advised to give a copy to the hospital, a family member and their proxy, if they have identified one. The form will also be available to collect in person at all three hospitals in Grand Cayman, Faith Hospital in Cayman Brac and the district health centres. 

Individuals are encouraged to contact the Ministry of Health on 244-2318 or 244-2377 or visit the Ministry’s website, to access an online form or if they have any questions.

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