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What are your values and wishes for your health care?
Do you have personal beliefs that influence your health care wishes?
Under what conditions may you not want a certain treatment?
Where would you want to be cared for (ie. home, hospital, hospice… )?

Comforting Hands

1. Medical Care (M): In this approach of care, a patient is expected to benefit from and is accepting of any appropriate medical tests and/or interventions that can be offered, excluding ICU and resuscitative care. Additionally, locations for care (home, hospital, and care facility) are considered depending on what is medically appropriate and in keeping with the patient’s wishes and values. Medical care is an appropriate approach when resuscitative care therapies are unlikely to work. (AHS, 2020)

2. Resuscitative care (R): In this approach, the focus is extending life using medical or surgical means. This patient is expected to benefit from and is accepting of any appropriate medical tests and/or interventions that can be offered, and may include intensive care (ICU) and resuscitation.

3. Comfort Care (C): In this approach, the aim of medical tests and interventions are for optimal symptom control and maintenance of function when cure or control of an underlying condition is no longer possible or desired. This care can be given in any setting. Transfer to a hospital may occur in order to better understand or control symptoms.

What are Goals of Care Designations?

• Goals of Care Designations are instructions that guide your healthcare team about your general wishes regarding your health care. After speaking with you and/or you and your agent, a doctor or nurse practitioner will write our your Goals of Care Designation as a medical order.

• In a medical emergency, your Goals of Care Designation guides your healthcare team to provide timely care that best reflects your health care condition, the treatments that would benefit you, and your wishes.

• Talk to your doctor about which Goals of Care Designation best reflects your health circumstances and your personal wishes and values. There are three main approaches to care.

How is this information communicated to other healthcare providers?

• Once completed by yourself and your doctor or nurse practitioner, the Goals of Care Designation medical order and care decisions are documented on forms from Alberta Health Service. They are kept in a Green Sleeve that all healthcare teams in Alberta Health Service recognize. You should keep your Green Sleeve on or near your fridge – this is where healthcare providers such as Emergency Medical Services will look for it in case of an emergency. Any time you go to the hospital or to a healthcare provider, you should take your Green Sleeve with you.

• The Green Sleeve belongs to you. It holds a copy of your personal directive, your Goals of Care Designation, and a tracking record.

Can I change my Goals of Care Designation?

Yes, your Goals of Care Designation can be changed at any time. It should be reviewed at any time that your:

  • Health condition changes

  • Personal circumstances change

  • You are transferred or admitted to another healthcare setting


Book an appointment with your family doctor today to discuss the best Goals of Care Designation for you!


  1. MyHealth.Alberta.Ca Network. (2020). Advance Care Planning: Should I Receive CPR and Life Support? Retrieved from:

  2. Alberta Health Services. (2020). Advance Care Planning. Retrieved from:

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