Legislation is a law or set of laws suggested by a government and made official by a parliament.
There are so many health related legislations in Canada related to mental health. Here I am going to write about legislation, which is beneficial for patients, family members and even for the health care providers. This act is Substitute Decision Act.
? Substitute decision act: This act was passed by the Ontario legislature in December 1992. This act came into force on April 3, 1995.Amendments to the law came into force on March 29, 1996.
? Who is substitute decision maker?
Substitute decision maker is a person who is decided to take personal care decisions for the person who has become incapable and not able to take their decisions. These decisions also include health care decisions.
Hierarchy of substitute decision maker:
• The individual named as an attorney for personal care
• The individual appointed as a representative by the consent and capacity board
• Spouse, partner or relative in the following order:
o Spouse or partner
o Child if 16 or older, custodial parent or children’s aid society
o Parent who has only right of access
o Brother or sister
o Other relative
o a public guardian or trustee is the substitute decision maker of last resort
? Purposes of substitute decision act
• Decisions: To make decisions about patient’s personal care when he/she become incapable.
• Respect: To respect people’s life choices, expressed before they become mentally incapable.
• Involvement of families and friends: To recognize the important role of families and friends in making decisions for loved ones
• Clarify rights and responsibilities: To clarify and expand the rights of adults who are mentally incapable , and the responsibilities of substitute decision makers
• Safety: To provide safeguards and accountability to protect mentally incapable people from harm
• Limit other interventions: To limit public guardianship and other government interventions to situations where there are no other suitable alternatives.