FAQ Consultation Draft Health Care Decisions Bill 2018

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Public input is being sought on the draft Health Care Decisions Bill, 2018. Health Care decisions, in this context, are often referred to Advance Directives.

  • What are Advance Directives?

    Advance directives are documents, such as a living will, given by a competent individual that allows a person to communicate their health care preferences/wishes in the event, that at some time in the future, he or she is no longer able to make this decision.

  • How are Advance Directives made?

    Under the proposed legislation, the AD is made by an adult who is mentally competent, even though not terminally ill and not undergoing any health care. The relevant forms are completed and the person making the directive, called a directive-maker, signs the form in the presence of two adult witnesses.

  • Can I revoke my Advance Directives?

    Yes; your Advance Directive can be revoked at any time. This must be done in writing, signed and dated.

  • At what stage of my life would I be considered incompetent to make my own healthcare decisions, prompting the Advance Directive to come into effect?

    An advance directive only takes effect when the directive-maker is mentally incompetent. Mentally incompetent means that you are unable to make a decision and does not possess the faculties to understand the nature and effect of the decision.

  • Who would decide that I am incompetent?

    The doctor would determine whether you are mentally competent.

  • Does my doctor have the final say about my care?

    Your doctor can and may provide advice about your care and treatment, but also needs to know about your wishes and beliefs to provide you with the care that you would like at the end of life. You have a right to make decisions about your own health care.

  • Can my Advance Directive be over-ridden?

    Not usually; only in the circumstance where a registered practitioner or any other person is aware that you had expressed a wish to revoke the directive; or where the directive is not in your best interest.

  • Is there a minimum age for making an Advance Directive?

    An advance directive can only be made by individuals 18 years of age and over.

  • Can another person, or other persons, act as my proxy to make Advance Directives?

    Yes; you can appoint one or more proxies to act on your behalf as your substitute decision maker.

  • Do the forms require to be witnessed?

    Yes; all forms completed must be accompanied by two witnessing signatures - one of whom must be a doctor. Persons such as a proxy or a beneficiary of the directive maker cannot be a witness.

  • Will the Cayman Islands recognise Advance Directives from other jurisdictions?

    Yes; advance directives from other jurisdictions such as the UK, Canada, Jamaica, United States of America and states of the European Union are proposed to be recognized.

  • To whom should I send comments on the Draft Health Care Decisions Bill?

    The Ministry of Health welcomes comments from the public, which should be submitted by mail, email, or in person to the contact details below by 30th September 2018.

Janett Flynn
Senior Policy Advisor
Ministry of Health, Environment, Culture and Housing
5th Floor, Government Administration Building
Elgin Avenue
PO Box 110
Grand Cayman, KY1-9000
Cayman Islands

Email: Janett.flynn@gov.ky Tel: 244-2374