STEP 1 – There may come a time when someone else will have to make health care decisions for us.


Decide WHO that will be for you

Identify your SDM(s)
Your SDM is the person who will make health care decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself. In Ontario, by law, you have an automatic SDM. It is important to know who that is OR choose another.

Your automatic SDM by law, is the person in your life WHO ranks highest on the list below:


The Hierarchy of SDM(s)

Your SDM must meet these requirements:

  • Available when a decision is needed
  • Capable of giving consent
  • Willing to accept the role
  • 16 Years or Older
  • Not Prohibited to Act as your SDM(s) – (ie. court order, separation agreement)


Not happy with WHO this will be?

It’s okay, you can choose! If you want someone different than your automatic SDM(s), legally name someone else in a Power of Attorney for Personal Care.

STEP 2In Ontario, when you can’t make a decision for yourself, the law says your SDM(s) must do it.


TALK to your SDM

and others
Conversations get things started, and help you to share important info about yourself, your wishes, values and beliefs.

This info will help to guide your SDM(s) to make healthcare decisions that are based on what you would want for your healthcare.


Conversation Starters to Think About

Provide your SDM(s) with info to become an expert on YOU!

Here are a few questions to help you get started:

  • What is important to you?
  • Do you have spiritual beliefs that are important to consider?
  • What brings quality to your life?
  • What do I need to know about you to get the kind of care you would want?
  • What is a good day to you?


Do I need to write this down?

In Ontario, you don’t have to. You can share them in any way you choose to communicate.