An online panel discussion on April 16 is set to discuss the benefits of advance care planning. (Black Press Media file photo)

An online panel discussion on April 16 is set to discuss the benefits of advance care planning. (Black Press Media file photo)

Online panel to discuss planning for death with Greater Victoria residents

Advance care planning allows people’s wishes to be respected even if they can’t speak for themselves

Few people want to think about death, but that is exactly what the Vancouver Island Federation of Hospices (VIFOH) is suggesting Greater Victoria residents do.

On April 16, the federation is hosting an online panel of experts to discuss advance care planning – the idea that people should reflect on their values now and inform their loved ones what their wishes would be in the event they are unable to speak for themselves.

One of the panelists knows the importance of planning ahead first hand. Dr. Amy Tan, medical director at Victoria Hospice, said she was in a serious car crash in her 20s and her husband had to make decisions about her treatments and surgery on her behalf.

Joining her will be Cowichan Hospice advance care planning trainer and retired nurse Marg Budd, Pacific Rim Hospice volunteer Tracy Head, and Cowichan Hospice executive director and VIFOH president Gretchen Hartley.

“In life, we try to plan pretty much everything, except anything surrounding death,” Head said. “I think that advance care planning is important because unlike a lot of things we try to plan, death is inevitable and we can play a part in how things unfold.”

The event will run from 11 a.m. to noon, featuring a half-hour discussion followed by a question and answer period.

Registration is free and can be found at vifoh.org/events.

Greater Victoria