Encouraging Canadians to share their wishes about end-of-life care

April 16 is National Advance Care Planning Day; Partnership collaborates on national efforts

Speak-up logo - "Start the conversation about end-of-life"The Partnership is pleased to join more than 25 organizations championing April 16 as National Advance Care Planning Day — a day for Canadians to speak with family members and friends about their wishes for end-of-life care.

Led by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA), National Advance Care Planning Day raises awareness of the need to reflect on and communicate one’s personal care preferences in the event one becomes incapable of consenting to, or refusing, treatment or other care. Complementary to the awareness campaign is Advance Care Planning in Canada: A National Framework and Implementation, a document released earlier this year to provide guidance for incorporating advance care planning into the health system. Developed through CHPCA’s Advance Care Planning National Task Group, which includes representatives from a number of legal and health organizations, the document builds on work underway across the county.

“Advance care planning is an important part of embedding person-centred care in the cancer journey, which is a key focus of the Partnership’s work,” says Irene Nicoll, director of the Partnership’s Cancer Journey portfolio and member of the Advance Care Planning National Task Group. “The Partnership is pleased to have collaborated on the development of a national framework for advanced care planning in Canada and will continue to provide guidance to engage the public and health-care professionals in advance care planning.”

In addition to supporting advance care planning, the Partnership is working to improve palliative and end-of-life care for Canadians in many areas including:

  • increasing information and resources available through the Canadian Virtual Hospice, accessible through the Partnership’s portal, cancerview.ca
  • expanding palliative and end-of-life care education and training for clinicians, such as adapting the Education in Palliative and End-of-Life Care-Oncology (EPEC™-O) curriculum for use in Canada
  • developing and implementing tools to better understand the characteristics of terminally ill cancer patients and their resource use in the final year of life, an initiative being led through the Hospice Palliative End-of-Life Care Surveillance Network

For more information on Advance Care Planning Day, please visit advancecareplanning.ca. The site features a number of tools and resources, including information about the Speak Up: Start the Conversation About End-of-Life Care campaign, developed to raise awareness of the need for advance care planning.