Advance care planning in Northern Ireland
This section is about some of the ways you can plan ahead and make choices about your future care if you live in Northern Ireland.
The ways people can plan ahead vary across the four nations of the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and there are also some legal differences. The web pages in this section are about the ways people can plan ahead if they live in Northern Ireland. We have other information about planning ahead in England and Wales, and in Scotland.
This section, which was produced by the Public Health Agency and Macmillan Cancer Support, includes information on:
There is also information about making a will, organ and tissue donation, and planning your funeral.
Planning for your future care is important in case you ever become unable to make choices yourself, for example if you were to become unconscious or lose capacity (the ability) to make decisions about treatment.
We hope the information here answers some of your questions and helps you deal with some of the feelings you may have.
We can’t advise you about the best ways to plan ahead for yourself. You may find it helpful to discuss what’s best for you with a health and social care professional, and someone close to you.
After reading this information, you may not want to plan ahead. Or you may need more time to think about it, or want to discuss it with someone else. That’s fine – it’s your decision.
There are two documents available in this section, which you can use to help you think about and write down some of your wishes and decisions for your future care:
You may also want to discuss the information in this section with our cancer support specialists.
Tony Bonser talks about his son Neil's death and how important it was that his last wish be made possible by a Macmillan nurse.
To talk to someone about your questions and concerns about cancer, you can call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00
Please tell us what you think about our videos to help us make them better.
Planning ahead is important for anyone, regardless of whether they have an illness or not.
Many people think they don’t need to make decisions about their future care unless they reach a time when they know that an illness, such as advanced cancer or heart failure, can no longer be treated.
However, planning ahead is important for anyone, regardless of whether they have an illness or not. This is because none of us can say for sure whether we’ll always be able to make our own decisions about our care. For example, some people may become very ill unexpectedly. They may then be unable to make decisions about their health or social care, or make any financial plans for their close family or friends.
Living with cancer, motor neurone disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure or any other long-term illness may start you thinking about your future care and what you’d want to happen if you were to become seriously ill. Even if you’ve been cured of an illness, it’s still helpful to think about the future.
You can talk through your wishes or other plans with a professional and a family member or friend you trust. Remember that you’re the expert on you, and only you can know exactly how you’d like to be cared for.