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End-of-Life and Treatment Decisions

Disputes sometimes arise between doctors and the loved ones of a dying patient over whether or not to prolong the patient’s life. The same kinds of disputes also arise within the families of a person with a terminal condition. The Health Care Consent Act (the “HCCA”) provides very efficient and relatively inexpensive ways to resolve these disputes by different kinds of applications to The Consent and Capacity Board (the “CCB”).

Unfortunately, the remedies available are under used since many professionals are not familiar with the CCB, or the types of issues it can resolve. Mark Handelman, Firm Counsel, served as a Vice Chair and Senior Lawyer Member of the CCB for a decade, during which time he adjudicated the majority of the “end of life” cases that the CCB heard. In the past few years, he has litigated more of these cases than any other lawyer in Ontario, having represented patients, substitute decision-makers and doctors. He has also written articles on the topic and lectured health care professionals extensively on the principles of substitute consent for incapable patients.

WEL lawyers litigate end-of-life and treatment disputes before the CCB, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and we similarly mediate these disputes through alternative dispute resolution.

This overview is intended for the purposes of providing information only and is to be used only for the purposes of guidance. This information is not intended to be relied upon as the giving of legal advice and does not purport to be exhaustive. Whaley Estate Litigation Partners.

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