Overall, most Canadians think they are prepared (39%) or somewhat prepared (39%) to make health care decisions if themselves or a loved one faced a life threatening illness or was near death. Although they are personally prepared, 28% are concerned and 45% are somewhat concerned that they would not receive the comfort and support they would hope to receive if they or a loved faced such an experience
When it comes to making decisions about appropriate care in the case of a life threatening illness, the most important thing for Canadians is that the health care decisions are made in a manner that respects the wishes of a patient and their family (83% important and 16% somewhat important). Although still important, there is a relatively less importance attached to:
- decisions being made in a manner which respects the advice of health care providers (53% important and 40% somewhat important).
- decisions being made in a manner which respects your personal faith (32% important and 27% somewhat important).
- decisions being made in a manner which respects your family’s culture (29% important and 33% somewhat important).
Just 33% of the public thinks that Canadians have the right amount of personal control over health decisions when one is nearing death. A majority (54%) thinks that there is not enough control.
When it comes to the performance of the health care system in finding end-of-life care solutions from groups in society, 20% think the performance is very good or good when it comes to faith groups in one’s community. While few think the performance is very poor (4%) or poor (9%), 42% are not sure. Performance is similar when it comes to finding end-of-life care solutions from local community groups (19% very good or good) and lower for cultural groups in one’s community (15% very good or good).
There are a number of fundamental characteristics of Canada that the public could see as important for Canada. Of these, being a place where people have access to universal public health care (32%) is the most likely to be ranked first. A place where there is a Charter of Rights (28%) is the next most mentioned as the top priority.