Legal considerations

Next of Kin

When you arrive at Kingston Health Sciences Centre and register, we will ask you to identify your next of kin. In the past, we would have asked you just for information about someone we could contact in case of emergency, instead we now will ask you for one or two people who you feel comfortable with receiving private information about your care, should there be a need.

Living Wills (advance care planning)

A living will is a way for you to share information with your family and care team about your preferences for times when you may not be able to voice those preferences yourself. A living will can be a written document, a video or audio recording, or could simply be a discussion with your family and care team members about your wishes. Whether they are recorded or not, they are legally binding. To make sure we follow your preferences and wishes, someone from the care team will ask about them when you arrive at either of our hospital sites. For more information, please visit our advanced care plan page

Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney for Personal Care is a legal document that you can give to someone you trust. The document will provide that person with the authority and information to make decisions about your care and treatment if you are unable to make them on your own. If you do not have a Power of Attorney document, and you become unable to make decisions on your own, then decisions can be made by a "substitute decision maker." This will be a family member who will be asked to make decisions. The substitute decision maker will be decided in the following order:

  • Spouse or partner (must be living together in a close relationship for a minimum of one year)
  • Custodial parent, or daughter/son 16 years or older
  • Sibling
  • Any other relative

A member of the care team will ask you or your family if you have a Power of Attorney for Personal Care document when you arrive at either of our hospital sites.