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Some of this information may be upsetting.

If you need support, please speak to a Justice Health staff member or call the free Mental Health Helpline (option 9 on the yard phone).

Care Planning

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It is important that you are involved in making choices about your care, especially when you are approaching the end of life. Part of end-of-life care is working with your health care team to understand your options.

Some people decide they do not want some medical treatment even if it might help them live longer. There is no right or wrong decision. Everyone is different. You should discuss your questions and concerns with your treating Justice Health medical team.

End-of-life Care Treatment Options

Palliative Care

  • Palliative care helps people with serious illnesses feel better. Palliative care may help with things like pain, feeling sick, or difficulty breathing.
  • It’s for patients and their support network. Justice Health has a dedicated team for this kind of care.
  • The goal is to make patients lives better by reducing pain and helping them keep their dignity and make choices.
  • It’s usually given in the last year of life but might be needed for more or less time, depending on the situation.
  • The team will explain your options and help you understand what is happening with your health.
  • They support you to keep doing things on your own for as long as possible.
  • Palliative care can be given along with other treatments that might help people live longer in certain situations.

Life-prolonging treatment

  • Depending on your situation, there may be treatment available that may prolong your life and slow down the progression of your disease.
  • There are specialist teams that you will be linked to based on your illness.
  • Common treatments used to prolong life are chemotherapy, radiation and dialysis.
  • These treatments are provided by specialist doctors and nurses who are trained to provide this treatment in a safe manner.
  • Similar to Palliative Care, life prolonging treatment can also assist with pain management and sustaining independence.

Voluntary Assisted Dying

  • Voluntary Assisted Dying means that if you have a sickness that will cause your death in less than 6 months (12 months for rare terminal illnesses), you can get medicine from a doctor that lets you choose when you want to end your life.
  • Only those who meet certain eligibility and follow the process can get this medicine.
  • Voluntary Assisted Dying will not replace your current care pathway.
  • You can only be eligible for Voluntary Assisted Dying if you have a sickness that cannot be cured and will cause your death in less than 6 months (12 months for rare terminal illnesses), you are able to make your own decisions, and you are over 18 years old.
  • You cannot access voluntary assisted dying if you are not sick, or if you have a mental illness, dementia, and/or disability but do not have a sickness that will cause your death in the next 6 months (12 months for rare terminal illnesses).


  • Voluntary assisted dying is your choice, and you have the right to change your mind.
  • Doctors have the right to choose not to be involved with the voluntary assisted dying process.
  • No one else can ask for voluntary assisted dying for you. No one can make you ask for voluntary assisted dying.
  • You can ask for more information about voluntary assisted dying from your Justice Health Clinic Nurse or treating Doctor.