Conversation Starters

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There are many ways to get the conversation started! Remember, it may take a few attempts to get things started. Don’t feel like you have to have the entire conversation at once.

Be Straight Forward

“I have just filled out a workbook about my wishes for future health care and I want to share it with you.”

“My health is good right now, but I want to talk to you about what I’d want if I was sick and needed you to make decisions for me.”


Find an Example From Your Family or Friends

“Does anyone know how Jason’s sister died? No one ever talked about it. I wonder if she died at home or in a hospital?”

“Do you remember my friend Frank who was in a coma for a while? I wonder if there was any argument about keeping him on that ventilator?”


Blame Someone Else

“Pastor Jones was talking about our choices for health care if something happened, and I realized that I haven’t told you about my wishes – we should talk about that.”

“My doctor wants me to think about my future care and to start the conversation through advance care planning. Will you help me?”


Find an Example From the News

“Remember the man who was in a coma for years? I would never want that to happen to me.”

“That story about the family fighting about their mom’s care made me realize that we should talk about these things so the same thing doesn’t happen to our family.”


PLEASE NOTE: the following video is reflective of the National campaign.  Legal requirements regarding Health Care Consent and Advance Care Planning vary across the country, therefore the National Speak up resources may not always reflect the Ontario legal framework.


For more information, go to the Ontario Health Care Consent Advance Care Planning Workbook