Why advance care planning is important Northern Ireland
Planning ahead is important because it’s not always possible for health and social care professionals to know exactly how you would like to be cared for in certain situations.
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 could be if you were unwell and unable to talk to them, or if you were unable to make decisions about your care, for example if you were unconscious.
If you haven’t planned ahead and you lose the capacity to make decisions and can’t tell your health professionals what you want, they will act in your best interests. This means they will plan care for you based on their experience and understanding of your situation, and through discussion with your family and friends. They will take account of other things too, such as your circumstances. This is known as a best interests decision. Although a best interests decision takes all this into account, it won’t necessarily be the same as the decision you would have made yourself.