What is a Section 9 Representation Agreement?
A Section 9 Representation Agreement appoints someone to help you make decisions about your health care and your personal care needs.
A Section 7 Representation Agreement is a different document than a Section 9 Representation Agreement. That will be covered off under a separate post.
A Section 9 Representation Agreement is also called an Advanced Representation Agreement, or a Non-Standard Powers Representation Agreement.
The person you appoint in this document is called a Representative. Your representative can help you with:
- making decisions about where you live, and with whom
- ensuring you are fed and clothed appropriately
- minor or major health care decisions
- end of life health care decisions (but not including Medical Assistance in Dying)
A Representative cannot make decisions about your legal or financial affairs – you need a Power of Attorney for that.
Do I need a Section 9 Representation Agreement?
A section 9 Representation Agreement isn’t required by law; no one can make you have one.
However, they are extremely useful documents to have, especially if you have specific wishes about your health care or personal care.
It may seem very obvious to you who should help you in a time of need, but it is not obvious to outsiders. Your spouse might be awesome in a crisis, or they could, like you, be experiencing health problems. You might want one of your adult children to makes these decisions for you instead.
There is simply no easy way for your health care providers to accurately guess who you trust the most. Likewise, there is no way your health care providers can know that you have certain faith-based or cultural beliefs about your health care.
A Section 9 Representation Agreement is a really good way to make sure others respect any religious or cultural beliefs about your care.
Substitute Decision Makers
Who would help you if you can’t make decisions for yourself? Who should help you decide where you live, with whom, and what kinds of medications or operations you should have?
The people who make health care decisions for you are called substitute decision makers. A substitute decision maker substitutes, or stands in for you when you cannot speak for yourself.
You might be surprised about who is on this list of approved substitute decision makers. For example, imagine you are single and have three children. Each of your three children has the same right to speak for you about your health care decisions, as long as they:
- are 19
- have been in contact with you in the last year
- are not in a dispute with you
- are capable of this work, and
- follow the duties set out in law for substitute decision makers
Which of your three children do you want your health care providers to listen to?
Sadly, there is a very big hole in the system. The law tells us who can be a substitute decision maker for health care decisions. However, the only people who can help you with personal care decisions are the people you name in a Representation Agreement.
This means that no one has an automatic right to decide things about your shelter, diet, employment, living arrangements or other social activities. These things might sound trivial, but they can be incredibly important.
One very big example is that your family will not be able to choose where you live, if you need to go into any kind of care. Only you, or your appointed representative, can make personal care decisions for yourself
What happens if I don’t have one?
The members of your family on the substitute decision maker list will be able to make some, but not all, health care decisions for you.
Your health care providers will need to determine who can act as a substitute decision maker for you, and that may dangerously slow down any response time.
No one will be able to make decisions about your personal care for you.
Your family may have to go to court and ask for a committeeship order. Committeeship orders declare you to be incapable of managing yourself or your affairs. They are extremely intrusive. They are very expensive, and can take months to do. It is very hard to undo a committeeship order.
How do I make a Section 9 Representation Agreement?
Ask us to help you with this very important document. We will help you work through the decisions about who to appoint and what kinds of powers to give them.November 2, 2019 1:20 pm
Tags: personal care, substitute decision maker