Decision made Канада


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decision made Canadian immigration London office

decision made Canadian immigration London office

Post by JAH » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:09 pm

Hi all
I am posting this on behalf my brother
He applied Canadian Immigration under federal skilled worker class in before 28 feb 2008.
A year ago client check application status on website was appearing as » A decision has been made on 28 Nov 2012 Canada Immigration London office may contact you »

When he contacted the London office they said its still in process and will let you know. but now nothing appears on website when he tracks application online and no reply to many emails he sent.

He is much frustrated and worried
Can anyone guide how to get information or outcome of application.
would be highly appreciated.

Decision made Канада

9 months since I got a letter from them telling me my app. was in process. Tonight I logged into the government website for the 1st time in a while and it said «decision made» in both columns. So while I don’t know exactly when my status changed but it has been within the past month or so.

I know that there is nothing to know until a letter shows up in the mail but maybe somebody here can tell me how long it usually takes for this letter and what happens next (interview?- what happens at the interview? PR card? etc. )

Disputing a Decision Made by the Canada Revenue Agency

The Canada Revenue Agency regularly issues a Notice of Assessment to taxpayers that differs from what the taxpayer had originally reported. This is often due either to a lack of supporting documentation or to a different interpretation of the tax laws. Taxpayers who disagree with the CRA have the right to dispute these decisions, but must do so according to certain rules.

Disputing a CRA Decision

There are many ways to dispute a CRA decision. If you disagree with an assessment, you can begin with an informal inquiry as to what the issue is. If this does not resolve the issue, you can file a formal Notice of Objection, which may either resolve the matter or lead to the ultimate means of disputing a CRA decision: the filing of an appeal to the Tax Court of Canada.

The majority of disputes between taxpayers and the CRA are due to a lack of supporting documentation. At any stage in the dispute resolution process, you should be prepared to submit the documents necessary to back your position, whether you are claiming deductions and credits or establishing your taxable income. The more detailed information in your file, the better your chances of success will be.

Informal Complaints

If you notice something you disagree with upon receiving a Notice of Assessment or a Notice of Reassessment, the first action is almost always to communicate with the CRA to understand the issue and to begin an informal review process. The CRA encourages this communication, and thus publishes a list of telephone numbers that taxpayers can use depending on the nature of the issue.

If the dispute is over something simple, such as a missing document in your file, and you are able to provide it, there is a good chance that the matter will be resolved at this stage. Otherwise, you will need to file a formal Notice of Objection.

Notice of Objection

A Notice of Objection is the first step in the formal dispute resolution process. It is important to note that the Notice of Objection must be filed within 90 days of receiving the disputed Notice of Assessment or Reassessment. It is difficult to obtain an extension to this deadline unless there are extreme circumstances, such as the taxpayer being hospitalized for a long period of time. For this reason, even if you are still in the initial informal review stage, you should remain aware of the deadline and be sure to file a Notice of Objection on time.

A Notice of Objection should succinctly describe the parameters of the issue as well as indicate your belief as to the correct tax treatment of the element in dispute. The Notice of Objection should be accompanied by all relevant supporting documents. You may also choose to file the form called T400A Objection – Income Tax Act.

Your Notice of Objection can be filed online using the CRA’s My Account platform, by regular mail, or even in person at a local CRA office. Once received, the notice will be redirected to a specialized section of the CRA where your file will be thoroughly reviewed, a process that may take several months. During this period, you will be able to communicate with the CRA agent handling the review in order to provide more details and further documentation, or to reach a settlement.

Appeals to the Tax Court of Canada

If the objection process does not resolve the issue and you wish to pursue the dispute, you will need to take your case before the Tax Court of Canada. Within 90 days of receiving the CRA’s decision on the Notice of Objection, you must file an appeal to the Court.

There are two types of appeals: the Informal Procedure and the General Procedure.

Taxpayers can opt to use the Informal Procedure under the following conditions: the disputed amount of federal tax and penalties is $25,000 or less, the dispute is over a loss amount of less than $50,000, or it is only interests and penalties that are being disputed. Compared with the General Procedure, the elements of the Informal Procedure are greatly simplified and the time between the filing of an appeal and the judgment of the Court is usually shorter.

Informal Procedure cases are heard by the same judges as General Procedure cases, but taxpayers using the former can choose to represent themselves or to be represented by someone else, including an attorney.

The General Procedure is the standard and will often require lengthy court proceedings with many documents being filed. Taxpayers may represent themselves or be represented by an attorney, but may not be represented by anyone else.

Once the Tax Court of Canada has rendered its judgment, you have the right to appeal this decision to the Federal Court of Appeals and, eventually, to the Supreme Court of Canada.

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Canada And Nato Decision Making

Book Report In the book entitled Canada, NATO and The Bomb: The Western Alliance in Crisis by Tom Keating and Larry Pratt the main issue discussed was Canada’s position in Europe, North America and their view on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It went into specific issues dealing with political tension within Canada and tension outside Canada with other countries. It went through the years of different political parties and how they dealt with the matters of NATO. It states Canada’s opinion dealing with matters such as the alliance, war, and decision making with other countries involved in NATO. The book came across Canada’s decision making as though Canada went along with the decisions made by other countries.

Canada, NATO, and The Bomb is not a book to inform it is a history book. It addressed issues that had happened previously and stated the type of involvement Canada had in it. In most cases, a book dealing with these sensitive issues, which involved other countries, would provide the pros and cons but in this case only the cons of NATO and the alliance were provided. This book showed NATO as being an organization that is very unorganized.

The Essay on Government And Indiv > . his opinion, deserved the right to make the decisions that would govern the country in which he lived. He thought the . slave trade, runaways and other such issues. Unrest was the underlying feeling throughout the country and made more prominent other touchy . issues, and this lack of unity eventually erupted .

It came across as though the countries involved did not respect each other’s thoughts and opinions. It dwells on the mistakes made by countries for example the United States, various other European countries. It made it seem as though NATO was in conflict within each other making the organization as a whole seem incapable of compromise and the defence of anything. At many points NATO wanted to vote the United States out of the organization but this obviously never happened. At one point it was a problem “about the possibility of being dominated and ultimately overwhelmed by too close an association with the United States” (pg. 30) for Canada and their relationship.

The themes of the book were Canada and its position in NATO and NATO’s and its position in the world. The theme was not presented clearly. One of the points were Canada and the main focus was any and everything but Canada. It stated over and over again that Canada did not approve of very much but that was it. It came across as if Canada was only complaining and nothing was being done. NATO and its position are expressed as only conflicts within the congress.

It was giving history presentation information dealing with NATO, its purpose and its views on important topics. Canada or the Canadian Government in particular, was expressed as if they had no mind of their own. It seemed as though the government was pushed or bullied into joining NATO because they were afraid of what other countries, specifically United States and England, would think therefore making decisions to accommodate them. Canada never seemed to take blame for anything they always put the blame on someone else because they came across as being insignificant. Close to the end of the book Canada was rarely mentioned making it seem as if they had no importance.

The style of writing in this particular book was somewhat complex and would not be recommended to anyone not of the university level. The sentence structure was too long and drawn out. Because of the sentences being so long in many cases it was difficult to catch the point Keating and Pratt were trying to make. This book did not involve pictures or any other type of graphical images. Visualizations had to be done on the part of the reader. The overall writing of the book was poorly done only because the authors did not go in a chronological order.

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They went back and forth between governments and years example 40’s to 60’s, 50’s to 70’s, King to Trudeau, Pearson back to King etc. This was found confusing because of little knowledge on Canada’s position. This is an overall repetitive, boring, and uninteresting book. The topics discusses may not have been glamorous could have done a better job at keeping the reader interested and wanting to read more..

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Contents

1 Introduction

On 6 February 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision regarding physician-assisted dying in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General). 1 This decision declared that sections 241(b) and 14 of the Criminal Code, 2 which prohibit a physician’s assistance in terminating life, infringe upon the right to life, liberty and security of the person for individuals who want access to physician-assisted death. The Court suspended its declaration so that it would not come into effect for 12 months, stating that «it is for Parliament and the provincial legislatures to respond, should they so choose, by enacting legislation consistent with the constitutional parameters set out in [the reasons for judgment].» 3

Carter could have profound effects on end-of-life decision-making in Canada. This paper explains the facts and legal reasoning behind the decision in order to help readers better understand the case and its implications. First, context is provided for the Carter decision by summarizing Rodriguez v. British Columbia (Attorney General), the 1993 decision in which the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the Criminal Code prohibition against assisted suicide. An explanation of the difference between «physician-assisted suicide» and «physician-assisted dying» follows — an important distinction when considering the potential implications of the decision. Next is a summary of the decisions in Carter of the trial judge, the Court of Appeal, and finally, the Supreme Court of Canada. The paper concludes by highlighting some of the responses by key stakeholders, and notes developments that have occurred since the release of the decision.

1.1 Rodriguez V. British Columbia (attorney General)

In 1993, the Supreme Court of Canada heard a constitutional challenge to the Criminal Code prohibition against assisted suicide. 4 Section 241(b) of the Criminal Code makes assisting a person to commit suicide an offence punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Section 14 of the Criminal Code prohibits individuals from consenting to having death inflicted on them and states that such consent cannot absolve from criminal responsibility individuals who cause another’s death.

Sue Rodriguez, a woman living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal disease that causes progressive paralysis and pain while leaving cognitive functions intact, challenged the Criminal Code provisions. Her life expectancy was between two and 14 months. She had lost her claim at trial, 5 and the British Columbia Court of Appeal had rejected her appeal in a 2–1 decision earlier that year. 6 She sought an order that «would allow a qualified medical practitioner to set up technological means by which she might, by her own hand, at the time of her choosing, end her life.»

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Ms. Rodriguez’s challenge of the prohibition against assisted suicide was based on rights set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The first right upon which she based her claim was section 7, which states as follows:

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

The second right was section 15, which states the following:

Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability. 8

The Supreme Court in Rodriguez was deeply divided. Five of the nine justices dismissed the appeal, and three separate dissenting decisions were delivered. Justice John Major, who formed part of the majority in 1993, has since spoken publicly in the media about Rodriguez. He noted that the Court struggled with the decision and that some of his «former colleagues may have thought one way one day and a different way the next day.» 9 He called it «a haunting type of case.» 10

The majority in Rodriguez held that, while infringement of the section 7 right to security of the person did exist, the infringement was in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. The majority chose not to perform a section 15 analysis on the basis that any violation would be «clearly» justified under section 1 of the Charter, which states that Charter rights are subject to «reasonable limits prescribed by law [that] can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.» Ms. Rodriguez died in 1994 with the assistance of an anonymous physician.

2 Carter V. Canada (attorney General)

Ms. Taylor was joined in her claim by three other individual plaintiffs. One of the plaintiffs was Dr. William Shoichet, a physician willing to perform assisted suicide in appropriate cases if the law were changed. The two other plaintiffs, Lee Carter and Hollis Johnson, are the daughter and son-in-law of Kay Carter, a woman with spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis may cause increasing mobility limitations and pain, while leaving cognitive functions intact. When Kay Carter found her condition had become intolerable, she asked her daughter and son-in-law to help her travel to an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland. Lee Carter and Hollis Johnson agreed, despite knowing they could face prosecution.

2.1 Terminology: «physician-assisted Dying» Versus «Physician Assisted Suicide»

In Rodriguez, the plaintiff took the position that the Criminal Code prohibition against «assisted suicide» was contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The term «assisted suicide,» referred to in section 241(b) of the Criminal Code, was used throughout the decision.

In Carter, the plaintiffs argued that the provisions infringe their Charter rights by prohibiting «physician-assisted dying.» According to the plaintiffs, «physician-assisted dying» includes both «physician-assisted suicide,» which they defined as:

an assisted suicide where assistance to obtain or administer medication or other treatment that intentionally brings about the patient’s own death is provided by a medical practitioner … or by a person acting under the general supervision of a medical practitioner, to a grievously and irremediably ill patient in the context of a patient–physician relationship

and «consensual physician-assisted death,» which they defined as:

the administration of medication or other treatment that intentionally brings about a patient’s death by the act of a medical practitioner … or by the act of a person acting under the general supervision of a medical practitioner, at the request of a grievously and irremediably ill patient in the context of a patient-physician relationship. 11

A distinction did not appear to be made between «consensual physician-assisted death» and «voluntary euthanasia.» The trial judge explained that «‘[v]oluntary euthanasia’ means euthanasia performed in accordance with the wishes of a competent individual, whether those wishes have been made known personally or by a valid, written advance directive.»

2.2 The Trial Decision

The plaintiffs claimed at trial that the prohibition against assisted death (primarily section 241(b) and related sections 14, 21, 22 and 222) 13 violated their rights under sections 7 and 15 of the Charter. 14 The Attorney General of Canada argued that an absolute prohibition on assisted suicide was necessary to avoid risking the deaths of incompetent persons, deaths that are involuntary (i.e., that are coerced), the deaths of individuals with treatable conditions, the deaths of «ambivalent» individuals, the deaths of «misinformed» individuals, and the deaths of vulnerable populations, including the elderly and people with disabilities. 15

The plaintiffs were successful; the trial judge, Justice Lynn Smith, found violations of both sections 7 and 15. When a Charter violation is found, however, the infringement may still be «saved» by section 1 of the Charter. As noted above, that section states that:

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

Justice Smith concluded that the infringement could not be demonstrably justified.

The plaintiffs had submitted that physician-assisted death should be accessible to «grievously and irremediably ill persons,» defining that term as follows:

«[G]rievously and irremediably ill persons» refers to persons who have a serious medical condition that has been diagnosed as such by a medical practitioner and which is without remedy, as determined by reference to treatment options acceptable to the person, and which causes the person enduring physical, psychological or psychosocial suffering that is intolerable to that person and cannot be alleviated by any medical treatment acceptable to that person. 16

Justice Smith rejected the argument that «grievously and irremediably ill» should include «psychosocial suffering» 17 and specified that «‘grievously and irremediably ill persons’ should be limited to those who are also in an advanced state of weakening capacities, with no chance of improvement.» 18 She also rejected the claimant’s position that physician-assisted dying «should include the provision of assistance by persons other than physicians.» 19

Justice Smith was constrained by legal precedent in her decision. The principle of stare decisis («to stand by that which is decided») is a cornerstone of the common law system, promoting consistency and predictability. 20 It requires lower courts to follow the decisions of higher courts. Generally, a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada is binding on all other Canadian courts. Justice Smith held, however, that the Rodriguez precedent did not preclude her from finding in favour of the plaintiffs for a number of reasons.

Two of these reasons related to the legal test that is applied when determining whether section 7 rights have been infringed. The test involves two stages: determining whether there has been a deprivation of the right to life, liberty or security of the person, and then, where a breach is found, determining whether it is contrary to the principles of fundamental justice. With respect to section 7, Justice Smith noted that when the Supreme Court in Rodriguez examined whether those rights were infringed, it considered only the rights to liberty and security of the person, and not Ms. Rodriguez’s right to life. In addition, when considering whether the infringements were in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice, Justice Smith noted that section 7 analysis has evolved since Rodriguez and the court should now consider two additional principles of fundamental justice. 21 Finally, Justice Smith noted that the Court in Rodriguez «did not address whether or, if so, how, s. 241(b) infringes s. 15 of the Charter,» 22 and concluded that «it [was] open to this Court to assess the plaintiffs’ s. 15 claim.» 23

Justice Smith held that the prohibition on assisted death is invalid to the extent that it violates the section 7 and section 15 rights of a defined population in situations akin to Ms. Taylor’s. Justice Smith defined the invalidity as follows:

[The assisted suicide prohibition is] of no force and effect to the extent that [it prohibits] physician-assisted suicide by a medical practitioner in the context of a physician-patient relationship, where the assistance is provided to a fully-informed, non-ambivalent competent adult patient who: (a) is free from coercion and undue influence, is not clinically depressed and who personally (not through a substituted decision-maker) requests physician-assisted death; and (b) is materially physically disabled or is soon to become so, has been diagnosed by a medical practitioner as having a serious illness, disease or disability (including disability arising from traumatic injury), is in a state of advanced weakening capacities with no chance of improvement, has an illness that is without remedy as determined by reference to treatment options acceptable to the person, and has an illness causing enduring physical or psychological suffering that is intolerable to that person and cannot be alleviated by any medical treatment acceptable to that person. 24

She suspended her declaration of invalidity for 12 months, which the Attorney General of Canada had submitted was the minimum required to «allow Parliament to have time to draft and consider any legislation.» 25

The suspended declaration of invalidity would not have allowed Ms. Taylor to access assisted death legally at least until the end of the 12-month period. Ms. Taylor was therefore granted a personal remedy: a constitutional exemption, which would have made her exempt from the prohibition while it was still in force. The trial judge included several conditions for accessing the constitutional exemption, including that Ms. Taylor’s physician had to attest that she was terminally ill and near death. Ms. Taylor did not make use of this exemption, however, as she died of an infection in October 2012.

2.3 The British Columbia Court Of Appeal Decision

The governments of Canada and British Columbia appealed the trial judge’s declaration that the sections of the Criminal Code relating to physician-assisted dying were invalid. The British Columbia Court of Appeal overturned the trial decision on 10 October 2013 in a 2–1 decision. 26 The majority did not consider the merits of the constitutional claims in any depth, focusing instead on the principle of stare decisis. The majority held that «the trial judge was bound to find that the plaintiffs’ case had been authoritatively decided by Rodriguez,» 27 and further that «[i]f the constitutional validity of s. 241 of the Criminal Code is to be reviewed notwithstanding Rodriguez, it is for the Supreme Court of Canada to do so.»

Although the matter was moot because of Ms. Taylor’s death, the majority of the Court of Appeal held that the remedy of constitutional exemption would be appropriate for circumstances in which «a generally sound law … has an extraordinary, even cruel, effect on a small number of individuals.» 29

2.4 The Supreme Court Of Canada Decision

The Supreme Court heard the Carter appeal on 15 October 2014. Of the nine judges present for the hearing, only Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin was a Supreme Court of Canada Justice at the time of the Rodriguez appeal. She had written one of the three dissenting opinions, and would have found that section 241(b) unjustifiably infringes section 7 of the Charter. In that decision, she did not consider section 15 arguments, on the basis that Rodriguez was not «a case about discrimination.»

The Court rendered its decision in Carter on 6 February 2015. The first notable feature of the decision is its authorship. Not only was the decision unanimous, it was authored by «the Court.» This authorship is generally reserved for controversial cases or ones in which the Court wants to emphasize its unanimity by speaking with one voice. 30

Early in the decision, the Court states that:

two of [the provisions of the Criminal Code] are at the core of the constitutional challenge: s. 241(b) … and s. 14 … It is these two provisions that prohibit the provision of assistance in dying. Sections 21, 22 and 222 are only engaged so long as the provision of assistance in dying is itself an «unlawful act» or offence. 31

For that reason, there is no discussion of or declaration made with respect to sections 21, 22 or 222.

The decision mentions the debate that has taken place in Canada and abroad since Rodriguez was decided, referring to private member’s bills on the subject, 32 the Senate Special Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, 33 and international legislative developments. 34

2.4.1 Stare Decisis

The Court began its legal analysis by exploring whether the trial judge was bound by Rodriguez, and concluded that she was not. The Court held that «stare decisis is not a straitjacket that condemns the law to stasis.» 35 Following its 2013 decision in Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford, 36 the Court applied the following legal test to determine when lower courts may reconsider settled rulings of higher courts:

(1) where a new legal issue is raised [or] (2) where there is a change in the circumstances or evidence that «fundamentally shifts the parameters of the debate.» 37

This approach to stare decisis is much more flexible than the decision the Court of Appeal had relied upon in Carter. 38 The Supreme Court found that both of the Bedford stare decisis criteria were met and that the developments identified in the trial judge’s analysis of section 7 were sufficient to meet the «new legal issue» criterion.

Although the Supreme Court did not specifically identify the evidence that met the second criterion, it noted that the record before the trial judge contained evidence that, if accepted, could undermine the Rodriguez finding that there is a «‘substantial consensus’ in Western countries that a blanket prohibition [against assisted suicide] is necessary» to protect vulnerable people. 39 Examples included evidence from several jurisdictions that now permit assisted suicide, as well as reports of the Royal Society of Canada and the Select Committee of the Assemblée nationale du Québec, all of which were considered at trial in the context of societal views on assisted suicide. 40

2.4.2 Section 7 Of The Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms

As explained earlier, to demonstrate a violation of section 7 of the Charter, a claimant must show that a law interferes with his or her life, liberty or security of the person. Then the claimant must show that this deprivation is not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. The Supreme Court held that all three parts of section 7 (life, liberty and security of the person) were violated.

The Court held that the right to life «is engaged where the law … imposes death or an increased risk of death on a person, either directly or indirectly.» 41 Having found that the assisted suicide prohibition can lead some people to end their lives prematurely while they are still capable of doing so, the Court held that the prohibition infringes the right to life.

Next, the Court considered the rights to liberty and security of the person. While it stated that these are distinct interests, it considered them together for the purpose of the appeal. The right to liberty protects «the right to make fundamental personal choices free from state interference.» 42 The right to security of the person incorporates

a notion of personal autonomy involving … control over one’s bodily integrity free from state interference … and it is engaged by state interference with an individual’s physical or psychological integrity, including any state action that causes physical or serious psychological suffering. 43

The Court held that a prohibition on physician-assisted death interferes with the ability of grievously ill individuals «to make decisions concerning their bodily integrity and medical care and thus trenches on liberty.» Furthermore, «by leaving people like Ms. Taylor to endure intolerable suffering, [the prohibition on physician-assisted dying] impinges on their security of the person.» 44

Having found that all three section 7 interests were engaged, the Court went on to determine whether the interference with these interests was in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

No exhaustive list of principles of fundamental justice exists. The trial judge identified the principles of overbreadth and gross disproportionality as elements that had not been part of the section 7 analysis in Rodriguez.

A law may be considered overbroad if it «takes away rights in a way that generally supports the object of the law, [but] goes too far by denying the rights of some individuals in a way that bears no relation to the object.» 45 The Court identified the objective of the prohibition to be «preventing vulnerable persons from being induced to commit suicide at a time of weakness.» 46 It concluded that the prohibition was overbroad because it not only prevented vulnerable persons from committing suicide, but also persons such as Ms. Taylor who are «competent, fully-informed, and free from coercion or duress.» 47 The Court stated that, given its conclusion that the prohibition was overbroad, it was not necessary to decide whether the principle against gross disproportionality was also violated.

2.4.3 Section 15 Of The Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms

At trial, Justice Smith had found that the prohibition against assisted death violates the equality rights of individuals with disabilities by imposing a disproportionate burden on them. While able-bodied individuals may commit suicide legally, people with certain disabilities may be physically unable to commit suicide, but may not seek assistance without subjecting another person to potential prosecution.

The Supreme Court held that, given its finding that there was a section 7 violation, it was «unnecessary to consider» whether there was a section 15 violation. 48 Recently, the Supreme Court has tended to avoid consideration of the merits of an equality claim when another section of the Charter has been claimed as well. 49

2.4.4 Section 1 Of The Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms

In accordance with the section 1 test established by case law, the government needs to demonstrate that the measure employed to protect its objective (in this case, «protecting the vulnerable from being induced to take their own lives in times of weakness» 50 ) impairs the right as little as possible. In Carter, the Supreme Court held that the section 7 violation was not «minimally impairing,» meaning that the objective of section 241(b) could have been achieved in a substantial manner without a blanket prohibition, therefore allowing certain individuals to access physician-assisted death. Specifically, the Court held that the evidence at trial indicated that a «permissive regime with properly designed and administered safeguards was capable of protecting vulnerable people from abuse and error.» 51

2.4.5 Disposition

Having found an unjustifiable violation of section 7, the Supreme Court declared that sections 241(b) and 14 of the Criminal Code

are void insofar as they prohibit physician-assisted death for a competent adult person who (1) clearly consents to the termination of life; and (2) has a grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease or disability) that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition.

«Irremediable,» according to the Court, «does not require the patient to undertake treatments that are not acceptable to the individual.» The Court noted further that the scope of its declaration responded to the facts in the case before it, and did not pronounce on other situations in which assisted death might be sought.

The trial judge had granted Ms. Taylor a personal constitutional exemption to access physician-assisted dying. The Supreme Court concluded:

In view of the fact that Ms. Taylor has now passed away and that none of the remaining litigants seeks a personal exemption, this is not a proper case for creating [a mechanism for exemptions during the period of suspended validity]. 55

The Court highlighted the concerns of some of the interveners that physicians’ freedom of conscience and religion (as protected by section 2(a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights of Freedoms) might be infringed if they were forced to participate in physician-assisted death, and stated that «nothing in the declaration of invalidity … would compel physicians to provide assistance in dying,» 56 and that «the Charter rights of patients and physicians will need to be reconciled.» 57

Ultimately, the Court noted that «Parliament must be given the opportunity to craft an appropriate remedy,» and that «[c]omplex regulatory regimes are better created by Parliament than by the courts.» 58

3 Responses To And Developments Following The Supreme Court Of Canada Decision

The federal government responded to the judgment by indicating that it would hold consultations on the issue.

On 24 February 2015, Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, moved in the House of Commons that a special committee be established

to consider the ruling of the Supreme Court; that the committee consult with experts and with Canadians, and make recommendations for a legislative framework that will respect the Constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the priorities of Canadians. 59

That motion was defeated.

Twenty-four groups were granted intervener status when Carter was before the Supreme Court of Canada, the majority of whom supported the existing Criminal Code provisions that prohibited assisted suicide. Not surprisingly, many of those organizations were disappointed by the decision, in at least one case stating that Parliament should invoke the constitutional notwithstanding clause 60 set out in section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 61 Other interveners were concerned that the decision puts «persons with disabilities at serious risk» 62 and is not limited to individuals who are suffering from a terminal illness. 63 There is debate as to whether the decision is restricted to authorizing physician-assisted suicide, or whether it also applies to voluntary euthanasia. 64

After Carter was released, many intervener organizations commented on what should be included in future legislation relating to physician-assisted dying. Suggestions included ensuring that patients are aware of all treatment and palliative options, the need for safeguards to ensure that patient consent to physician-assisted dying is informed and free of coercion, and ensuring protection for physicians and other health care professionals who did not want to participate in the process.

The need to focus on improving palliative care rather than physician-assisted death has also been raised in the context of the Carter decision. 66

In June 2015, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) released a draft version of a document entitled «Principles-Based Approach to Assisted Dying in Canada.» 67 The final version, “Principles-Based Recommendations for a Canadian Approach to Assisted Dying,” sets out the following foundational principles:

  • respect for persons;
  • equity;
  • respect for physician values;
  • consent and capacity;
  • clarity;
  • dignity;
  • protection of patients;
  • accountability;
  • solidarity; and
  • mutual respect.

The CMA document also contains a number of recommendations for the potential statutory framework, including determining the steps involved for patients and physicians in relation to a request for medical aid in dying, 68 outlining documentation and oversight requirements, and establishing the duty of care owed by “conscientiously objecting” physicians to patients who make a request for physician-assisted death. On the last point, the CMA ’s document states,

5.2 Conscientious objection by a physician

Physicians are not obligated to fulfill requests for assisted dying. This means that physicians who choose not to provide or participate in assisted dying are not required to provide it or participate in it or to refer the patient to a physician or a medical administrator who will provide assisted dying to the patient. There should be no discrimination against a physician who chooses not to provide or participate in assisted dying.

Physicians [are] obligated to respond to a patient’s request for assistance in dying. There are two equally legitimate considerations: the protection of physicians’ freedom of conscience in a way that respects differences of conscience and the assurance of effective patient access to a medical service. In order to reconcile physicians’ conscientious objection with a patient’s request for access to assisted dying, physicians are expected to provide the patient with complete information on all options available, including assisted dying, and advise the patient on how they can access any separate central information, counseling, and referral service. 69

Some provincial colleges of physicians and surgeons have either drafted or are in the process of drafting guiding documents for their members with respect to physician-assisted death. 70 In October 2015, the College of Family Physicians of Canada released “A Guide for Reflection on Ethical Issues Concerning Assisted Suicide and Voluntary Euthanasia.” 71 The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada has indicated that it is collaborating with the CMA “to support their current efforts to create a unified, profession-wide response to the Supreme Court decision.” 72

In mid-July 2015, the federal Minister of Justice and the federal Minister of Health announced the creation of a three-person external panel. 73 That panel consulted directly with those who intervened in the Supreme Court of Canada case as well as with medical authorities. An online consultation process also took place. The panel provided its report to the federal Minister of Justice and the federal Minister of Health on 15 December 2015. 74

The panel composition has been criticized in the media for potential bias. Both the panel’s chair (Dr. Harvey Chochinov, professor of psychiatry who holds the Canada Research Chair in Palliative Care), and panel member Catherine Frazee (former co-director of the Ryerson-RBC Foundation Institute for Disability Studies Research and Education, and Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission) were interveners in the Carter case and supported the prohibition against physician-assisted dying. 75 The third member of the panel is law professor and former government of Quebec minister, Benoît Pelletier.

In mid-August 2015, a provincial–territorial expert advisory group on physician-assisted death was announced. 76 The advisory group’s work was to «complement the work of the federal panel» 77 and «provide advice on the development of policies, practices and safeguards for provinces and territories to consider when physician-assisted dying is legal within their respective jurisdictions.» 78

The final report, dated 30 November 2015 and posted publicly on 14 December 2015, contained 43 recommendations. 79 Key recommendations include:

  • establishing a pan-Canadian Strategy for Palliative and End-of-Life care, including physician-assisted dying;
  • establishing a program within the publicly funded system that will link patients with an appropriate provider;
  • amending the Criminal Code to allow physician-assisted dying by regulated health professionals acting under the direction of a physician or a nurse practitioner, and to protect health professionals who participate in physician-assisted dying;
  • amending the Criminal Code to ensure that eligibility for physician-assisted dying is based on competence rather than age;
  • having medical regulatory authorities develop guidance/tools for physicians;
  • not requiring a mandatory waiting period between a request and provision of assistance in dying;
  • requiring “conscientiously objecting” health care providers to inform patients of all end-of-life options, including physician-assisted dying, and requiring providers to give a referral or direct transfer of care or to contact a third party and transfer the patient’s records;
  • having provincial and territorial governments establish Review Committee systems to review compliance in all cases of physician-assisted dying;
  • establishing a pan-Canadian Commission on End-of-Life Care (preferably in collaboration with the federal government); and
  • providing public education about physician-assisted dying and engaging the public so that it can inform future developments of related law, policies and practices.
Очень важная для вас статья:  Открытие счёта после лэндинга Канада

On 11 December 2015, motions were passed in the House of Commons and the Senate to establish a Special Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons. Those motions stated that the committee’s purpose is:

to review the report of the External Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v. Canada and other recent relevant consultation activities and studies, to consult with Canadians, experts and stakeholders, and make recommendations on the framework of a federal response on physician-assisted dying that respects the Constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the priorities of Canadians.

The motions also stated that “the Committee be directed to consult broadly, take into consideration consultations that have been undertaken on the issue, examine relevant research studies and literature and review models being used or developed in other jurisdictions.” 80

On 3 December 2015, the Attorney General of Canada applied to the Supreme Court of Canada for an order to extend the suspension of the declaration of the constitutional invalidity for an additional six months.

Concerns have been expressed that the absence of federal physician-assisted death legislation could result in a patchwork of laws that vary not only from province to province, 81 but also from hospital to hospital. 82

Notes

† Library of Parliament Background Papers prov > [ Return to text ]

  1. Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 5. [ Return to text ]
  2. Those sections of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, read as follows:
    14. No person is entitled to consent to have death inflicted on him, and such consent does not affect the criminal responsibility of any person by whom death may be inflicted on the person by whom consent is given.
    241. Every one who
    (a) counsels a person to commit suicide, or
    (b) aids or abets a person to commit suicide,
    whether suic > [ Return to text ]
  3. Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 5, para. 126. [ Return to text ]
  4. Rodriguez v. British Columbia (Attorney General), [1993] 3 SCR 519. [ Return to text ]
  5. Rodriguez v. B.C. (Attorney General of), 1992, 726 (BC SC). [ Return to text ]
  6. Rodriguez v. British Columbia (Attorney General), 1993, 1191 (BC CA). [ Return to text ]
  7. Rodriguez v. British Columbia (Attorney General), [1993] 3 SCR 519, p. 531. [ Return to text ]
  8. Ms. Rodriguez also claimed a violation of section 12 of the Charter. This claim was unsuccessful. [ Return to text ]
  9. Duncan McCue, «Assisted suic > [ Return to text ]
  10. Kirk Makin, «Haunting right-to-die case weighs on judges’ minds, 18 years on,» TheGlobe and Mail, 16 December 2011. [ Return to text ]
  11. Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2012 BCSC 886, para. 23. [ Return to text ]
  12. The trial judge set out the differences between voluntary euthanasia and involuntary or non-voluntary euthanasia:

Non-voluntary euthanasia’ means euthanasia performed without knowledge of the wishes expressed by a competent person or through a valid advance directive. ‘Involuntary euthanasia’ means euthanasia performed against the wishes expressed by a competent person or through a valid advance directive. (Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2012 BCSC 886, para. 38.)

21.(1) Every one is a party to an offence who
(a) actually commits it;
(b) does or omits to do anything for the purpose of aiding any person to commit it; or
(c) abets any person in committing it.
(2) Where two or more persons form an intention in common to carry out an unlawful purpose and to assist each other therein and any one of them, in carrying out the common purpose, commits an offence, each of them who knew or ought to have known that the commission of the offence would be a probable consequence of carrying out the common purpose is a party to that offence.
22.(1) Where a person counsels another person to be a party to an offence and that other person is afterwards a party to that offence, the person who counselled is a party to that offence, notwithstanding that the offence was committed in a way different from that which was counselled.
(2) Every one who counsels another person to be a party to an offence is a party to every offence that the other commits in consequence of the counselling that the person who counselled knew or ought to have known was likely to be committed in consequence of the counselling.
(3) For the purposes of this Act, «counsel» includes procure, solicit or incite.
222.(1) A person commits homicide when, directly or indirectly, by any means, he causes the death of a human being.
(2) Homicide is culpable or not culpable.
(3) Homicide that is not culpable is not an offence.
(4) Culpable homicide is murder or manslaughter or infanticide.
(5) A person commits culpable homicide when he causes the death of a human being,
(a) by means of an unlawful act;
(b) by criminal negligence;
(c) by causing that human being, by threats or fear of violence or by deception, to do anything that causes his death; or
(d) by wilfully frightening that human being, in the case of a child or sick person.
(6) Notwithstanding anything in this section, a person does not commit homicide within the meaning of this Act by reason only that he causes the death of a human being by procuring, by false evidence, the conviction and death of that human being by sentence of the law.

33.(1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of this Charter.
(2) An Act or a provision of an Act in respect of which a declaration made under this section is in effect shall have such operation as it would have but for the provision of this Charter referred to in the declaration.
(3) A declaration made under subsection (1) shall cease to have effect
five years after it comes into force or on such earlier date as may be specified in the declaration.
(4) Parliament or the legislature of a province may re-enact a declaration made under subsection (1).
(5) Subsection (3) applies in respect of a re-enactment made under subsection (4).

knowingly and intentionally performing an act, with or without consent, that is explicitly intended to end another person’s life and that includes the following elements: the subject has an incurable illness; the agent knows about the person’s condition; commits the act with the primary intention of ending the life of that person; and the act is undertaken with empathy and compassion and without personal gain.

© Library of Parliament

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Evolving Medical Decision-Making in Canada

    Florence Flynn 3 years ago Views:

1 Evolving Medical Decision-Making in Canada James Downar, MDCM, MHSc (Bioethics) Critical Care and Palliative Care, UHN Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medicine, University of Toronto

2 Objectives Understand recent legal and policy developments around EOL care in Canada Discuss the medical/ethical issues around medical decision-making for seriously ill patients

3 The Case of Mr. Rasouli 62M- Meningioma Postoperative meningitis/encephalitis Minimally conscious state Dependent on mechanical ventilation, tube feeding and hydration MDs: No realistic hope for recovery Proposed to WDLS, provide palliative care C. v. Rasouli, 2013 SCC 53

4 The courts SDM applies to Ontario Superior Court to prevent WDLS No injunction granted- consent required to WDLS MDs appeal to Ontario Court of Appeal MDs- No consent required to stop treatments of no medical value Judge ruled that WDLS linked to provision of palliative care- treatment package requires consent Imminence of death, starting new therapies was key consideration

5 Supreme Court Appeal Consent not required to WH or WD treatments outside the standard of care, regardless of other treatments Imminence of death should not determine the need for consent Requiring MDs to provide NBT forces them to breach legal and professional duties

6 Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal 5-2 Ruling Statutory interpretation of treatment in Ontario s Healthcare Consent Act anything done for a therapeutic, preventive or other health-related purpose includ[ing] a plan of treatment. Plan of treatment is the administration of various treatments and may, in addition, provide for the withholding or withdrawal of treatment C. v. Rasouli, 2013 SCC 53

7 Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal P4 This case turns on statutory interpretation what the HCCA provides. It is not a case about who, in the absence of a statute, should have the ultimate say in whether to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment. Nor does the case require us to resolve the philosophical debate over whether a next-of-kin s decision should trump the physicians interest in not being forced to provide non-beneficial treatment and the public interest in not funding treatment deemed of little or no value.

8 Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal P44 Reading the words of the statute in their ordinary sense and in their context, and having regard to the objects and scheme of the Act, I cannot accept the physicians argument that treatment and health-related purpose are confined to procedures that are of medical benefit in the view of the patient s medical caregivers.

9 Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal P70 These considerations lead me to conclude that treatment in the HCCA should be understood as extending to withdrawal of life support in the situation at issue here and as that process is described in these proceedings. This case does not stand for the proposition that consent is required under the HCCA for withdrawals of other medical services or in other medical contexts.

10 Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal P103 In some cases, the Board has upheld the decisions of substitute decision- makers to refuse withdrawal of life support as being in the best interests of the patient: D.W. (Re), 2011 CanLII 18217; S.S. (Re), 2011 CanLII 5000; P. (D.), Re. In others, it has reversed the decision of the substitute decision-maker and required consent to be given for the withdrawal of life support: A.K.; E.J.G.; N., (Re), 2009 CarswellOnt The particular facts of each case determine whether withdrawal of life support is in the best interests of the patient.

11 So what does this mean?

12 So what does this mean? Withdrawal of life support in a Rasouli-like case would require consent Withdrawal of treatment may sometimes, although not always, constitute treatment Administration of other treatment Need for physical contact (which might constitute battery) Likelihood of death shortly after withdrawal Downar et al. CMAJ 2014.

13 Is consent required to stop intermittent hemodialysis? stop CPR? deactivate an ICD? withhold chemotherapy/radiot herapy? Administration of other treatment? Need for physical contact (which might constitute battery)? Likelihood of death shortly after withdrawal? Downar et al. CMAJ 2014.

14 Does Rasouli affect Trials of ICU? Time limited trials of ICU offered for indeterminate cases Specific timeframe, specific goals Agreements are not legally binding Patient/family consent still required to WDLS Downar et al. CMAJ 2014.

15 Does Rasouli apply outside Ontario? Child and Family Services of Manitoba vs. RL DNR order it is not settled law that, in the event of disagreement between a physician and his patient as to withdrawal of life supports, the physician has the final say. Golubchuk v. Salvation Army Grace GH 2008 MBQB 49 [25] Charter challenges S2. Freedom of religion S7. Respect for life and personal autonomy S15. Discrimination based on age or disability

16 Does Rasouli apply outs >

17 The Consent and Capacity Board Parajudicial body, usually convened for mental health decisions Decisions can be appealed to Ontario Superior Court For Rasouli-like cases, three possible roles Consider whether a prior wish is applicable to the present circumstances (Form D) Consider a request from SDM to depart from prior capable wishes (Form E) Review SDM s compliance with rules of substitute decision-making (Form G)

18 Experience with the CCB and EOL Cases From , 23 Form G hearings involved MDs proposing DNR/withdrawal or palliative treatment plans 16 ruled in favour of MD proposal 9 appealed, none overturned 7 ruled against MD proposal 2 appealed, none overturned In , 3 Form G hearings 2 ruled against MD, 1 identified new SDM

19 Experience with the CCB and EOL Cases Qualitative study of 13 MDs who had applied for Form G hearings 12/13 found the process helpful, but benefits often tempered by lengthy appeals Survey of Canadian ICU/GIM RNs and MDs Ontario respondents more likely to believe that our current means of resolving NBT are inadequate (87% vs. 73%, p 20 Is consent required to withhold CPR? $1 million civil lawsuit pending Accessed Sept 16, 2014

21 The Case of Mr. DeGuerre Elderly veteran- severe PVD Bilateral AKA for gangrene, pain DNR preop, daughter requested FC postop Transferred to ward, began to deteriorate CCRT called, unable to contact daughter DNR order written Daughter arrived, angry with team Pt arrested, no CPR performed

22 The Case of Mr. DeGuerre Referred to CPSO x3 Supported MD x2, appealed to HPARB Third review- written cautions to MDs Dr. Chapman and Dr. Livingstone s conduct was not completely appropriate, and some action is necessary he should have received Full Code treatment until such time as the physicians had the opportunity to have a full and meaningful conversation with Ms. Wawrzyniak.

23 Is consent required to withhold CPR? Default is to provide CPR Hospital policy Public aware and often trained to provide CPR DNR is a change in treatment plan, but no new contact death not an immediate consequence no new therapies linked to DNR order Downar et al. CMAJ 2014.

24 New CPSO Policy (Sept 2015) A decision regarding a no-cpr order cannot be made unilaterally by the physician. If the patient or substitute decision-maker disagrees and insists that CPR be provided, physicians must engage in the conflict resolution process as outlined in Section 8 of this policy which may include an application to the Consent and Capacity Board.

25 New CPSO Policy (Sept 2015) While the conflict resolution process is underway, if an event requiring CPR occurs, physicians must provide CPR. In so doing, physicians must act in good faith and use their professional judgment to determine how long to continue providing CPR.

26 Critique of CPSO Policy Law is unclear CPR is ON courts refused FC injunctions x2 not different from other treatments at EOL not a solution to grief or conflict not a value How long to perform CPR? How to defend a duration of CPR? Slow codes?

27 Critique of CPSO Policy Mandating consent doesn t encourage conflict resolution What about comfort care?

28 What can we do? Communicate Individually Collectively- manage expectations, prepare for decisions Document Mediate* Challenge as appropriate Bioethics, CCB?*** Become comfortable with discomfort

29 Positions vs. Interests Explain your motivations, and understand theirs My fear is that Emphasize what you are doing, rather than what you don t want to do Comfort is not the opposite of cure Separate the message from the messenger

30 Objectives Understand recent legal and policy developments around EOL care in Canada Discuss the medical/ethical issues around medical decision-making for seriously ill patients

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Decision-making

Daniel J. Horgan

Abundant data and the need for speed are two characteristics of our time. Then do modern managers usually make quick, high-quality decisions? Not according to a study by Kepner-Tregoe Inc., a management consultancy based in Princeton, N.J. “Despite the existence of more and better information than ever before, time pressure prevents decision makers from gathering all that they need and from sharing it,” according to Peter Tobia, author of Decision Making in the Digital Age: Challenges and Responses, which Kepner-Tregoe released in December 2000.

Surprisingly, a majority of the survey’s respondents contradicted the conventional wisdom about information overload, saying that more and better data is actually a good thing. Rather, it’s the age-old problems of organizational politics, lack of agreement on objectives and changing priorities that keep decision-making in the dark ages.

“The survey shows that there is a cultural lag between sophisticated technology and the ability of the manager to take advantage of it,” says Tobia, Kepner-Tregoe’s director of business issues research. To make full use of IT’s data gathering and sorting capability, Tobia recommends that companies institute a shared, systematic approach to decision making.

Decision dilemma: speed versus quality

In which areas has the emphasis on fast decision making caused the quality of decisions to decline? The 479 managers responding to the December 2000 Kepner-Tregoe “Survey on Speed and Quality in Decision Making” answered as follows:

    Personnel/HR 27 per centBudgeting/finance 24 per centOrganizational structuring 22 per centQuality/productivity 20 per centIT selection and installation 17 per centProcess improvement 17 per cent

Checklists and balances

Decision-making methodologies don’t have to be complex. Dick Fishburn, CIO and vice-president of Corning Inc., the Corning, N.Y.-based advanced materials manufacturer, uses a simple but powerful tool to keep his cool in the face of demands to act quickly: a checklist.

“A checklist comes into play because certain things always need to be looked at to ensure a good decision,” he says. “It is very similar to an airplane pilot. He has a list to check before he lifts off, and every step is crucial and must be examined properly.”

Fishburn’s checklist is not so much a piece of paper as it is a process. He uses it as a training tool for IS workers. “You are training to create a mental model so [your team] knows what to examine in order to reach a quality decision,” he says. It’s a method for keeping the IS department out of the deep end of the flood of information.

Co-decision-making

Get authority to share decision-making with an adult who needs support making personal, non-financial decisions.

Overview

If an adult struggles with making decisions on their own, they may be vulnerable. When you become a co-decision-maker, the court gives you legal authority to help them make personal decisions.

As a co-decision-maker you and the adult work through decisions together, but the adult always has the final say.

The adult decides:

  • if they want a co-decision-maker
  • who the co-decision-maker is
  • when to stop having a co-decision-maker

Who needs a co-decision-maker

Adults who need a co-decision-maker

  • need help understanding information
  • need guidance and support to make personal decisions

Minors who will need a co-decision-maker

  • will be 18 years old in the next year
  • will need guidance and support to make personal decisions after they become an adult

If you want the court order to go into effect when the minor turns 18, you must apply when the minor is 17.

Types of decisions

Co-decision-makers can help with personal, non-financial decisions about:

  • healthcare
  • living arrangements
  • education
  • social activities
  • employment
  • legal proceedings

Depending on the adult’s needs, a co-decision-maker might only be needed for some decisions.

The court decides:

  • what types of decisions the co-decision-maker can help with
  • if a co-decision-making review will be needed

Is co-decision-making needed

If an adult only needs help communicating and understanding healthcare treatment, supported decision-making might be a better option.

An adult can’t have a co-decision-maker if they have a:

How long does it take

To become a co-decision-maker, it usually takes 3 to 6 months before the:

  • paperwork is finalized
  • court makes a decision

Background checks

For all co-decision-making applications, OPGT does a:

  • reference check
  • criminal record check

If you have concerns about these checks and how they’ll impact your eligibility, contact the OPGT.

Is there a cost

If you use a lawyer to complete your application, they can charge legal fees.

You need to get a capacity assessment done to determine whether the adult can make their own decisions. The capacity assessor may charge a fee for the assessment.

You pay a court filing fee of $250 when you submit your application.

If these costs are a financial hardship for you, contact the OPGT.

Choosing a co-decision-maker

The adult selects someone they trust to be their co-decision-maker. The co-decision-maker should:

  • have regular contact with the adult
  • live close to the adult
  • be aware of the adult’s beliefs and values
  • work cooperatively with the adult
  • be able to sign paperwork with the adult

Who can be a co-decision-maker

The co-decision-maker must:

  • be over 18 years old
  • consent to being a co-decision-maker
  • have a close and trusting relationship with the adult – like a:
    • family member
    • close friend

The OPGT can’t be a co-decision-maker

Your role as a co-decision-maker

As a co-decision-maker, you share authority with the adult. This means you and the adult discuss decisions and sign consent forms together.

Guidance and support

During the decision process, you provide guidance and support to the adult by:

  • gathering information and asking questions
  • helping the adult understand information
  • discussing all options with the adult

Accountability

As a co-decision-maker you’re accountable for decisions made with the adult. You must:

  • act diligently and in good-faith
  • help the adult make informed decisions in their best interest
  • respect the adult’s dignity and privacy
  • be aware of potential conflicts
  • refuse to sign anything, unless it might harm the adult
  • make financial decisions

For the legal authority to make financial decisions for an adult, learn about trusteeship.

Become a co-decision-maker without a hearing

Follow this process if you don’t think your application will be opposed.

With this process:

  • you don’t have to appear in court
  • the judge makes a decision based on the information you submit

You may need a lawyer for this complicated process. Help is also available through the OPGT and other community organizations.

Step 1. Get a capacity assessment

Have a professional assess whether the adult can make decisions on their own. This is called a capacity assessment. It can be completed by a:

The capacity assessment must be dated sometime in the 6 months before you submit your application.

Step 2. Fill out the application forms

Step 3. Fill out the background check forms

  • fill out the Background checks for the OPGT
  • include the completed forms with your application

Step 4. Submit your application package

Your application package is made up of the documents from the above steps:

  • capacity assessment
  • application forms
  • background check forms

When you submit your application:

  • include a cheque or money order for the $250 court filing fee made out to the Government of Alberta
  • don’t include cash
  • your cheque won’t be cashed for 30 to 50 days

If you’re working with a lawyer or one of the organizations that provide free assistance, they’ll submit the application package for you.

If you put the application package together on your own:

  • get Help with OPGT forms through one of the organizations that provide free assistance
  • submit your application to your local OPGT office

After you apply

A review officer from the OPGT will:

  • meet with the adult to ask them what they think about the application
  • prepare a report for the court
  • send a copy of the report to you
  • send a letter to:
    • the people listed as interested parties in the application
    • anyone else they think should know about the application

If someone doesn’t support your application, they can request a court hearing to oppose it.

Become a co-decision-maker with a hearing

Follow this process if you think your application will be opposed.

  • you or your lawyer must appear in court
  • the application is discussed before a judge
  • the judge makes a decision by cons >

You may need a lawyer for this complicated process. Help is also available through the OPGT and other community organizations.

Step 1. Get a capacity assessment

Have a professional assess whether the adult can make decisions on their own. This is called a capacity assessment. It can be completed by a:

The capacity assessment must be dated sometime in the 6 months before you submit your application.

Step 2. Fill out the application forms

Step 3. Fill out the background check forms

  • fill out the Background checks for the OPGT
  • include the completed forms with your application

Step 4. Submit your application package

Your application package is made up of the documents from the above steps:

  • capacity assessment
  • application forms
  • background check forms

When you submit your application:

  • include a cheque or money order for $250 court filing fee made out to the Government of Alberta
  • don’t include cash
  • your cheque won’t be cashed for 30 to 50 days

You or your lawyer:

  • submit your application to the clerk of the Court of Queen’s Bench
  • set a hearing date
  • notify all the interested parties

A copy of the application package you filed with the court must be served to the OPGT at least 30 days before the hearing date. If you:

  • are working with a lawyer, they’ll do this for you
  • put the application package together on your own, contact the OPGT for instructions

After you apply

A review officer from the OPGT will:

  • meet with the adult to ask them what they think about the application
  • prepare a report for the court
  • send a copy of the report to you

You’re responsible to notify all interested parties about the hearing date.

When co-decision-making is granted

Copies of the court order are sent to:

  • you
  • the adult
  • other interested parties

The court order identifies:

  • the co-decision-maker
  • any alternative co-decision-makers
  • the areas the co-decision-maker has authority

It may also include a co-decision-making review deadline.

Ending co-decision-making

By the adult

The adult can stop having a co-decision-maker at any time by following these steps:

Step 1. Fill out the form

Step 2. Submit the form

You or your lawyer file the form with the clerk of the Court of Queen’s Bench.

By the co-decision-maker

The co-decision-maker can also end their support if they’re no longer able to act as the co-decision-maker by completing a co-decision-making review.

Decision-maker notices

If you’re a family member or friend of an adult who needs support, you’ll be notified by mail when someone files an application to become or continue being a co-decision-maker.

After you get a notice, you’ll have the option to:

  • support the application by ignoring the notice
  • oppose the application by responding to the notice
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