Tuesday, December 3, 2013
In Ontario, laws governing Powers of Attorney impose special rules in the context of personal care. The Advocacy Centre for the Elderly (ACE) in Toronto, has published a series of white papers, collected on their website, discussing the restrictions on uses of Powers of Attorney for Personal Care (POAPCs), including a paper on the potential for misuse of authority. There is an interesting legal limitation on the use of POAPCs for admission to a care facility, requiring oversight for the decision if the principal disagrees with the agent's decision, with the potential for two steps to the process. ACE Staff Attorney Rita Chrolavicius writes:
"The Health Care Consent Act deals with treatment, admission to long-term care homes and and personal assistance services received in long-term care homes. . . . A POAPC does not come into effect until there has been a finding by a health care practitioner or evaluator that a particular individual is incapable with respect to the treatment or admission decision. If the individual disagrees with the finding of incapability, a hearing can be held before the Consent and Capacity Board. This provides some protection to the individual."
I can certainly see a reason for this restriction; however, at the same time, it strikes me that many persons with dementia or other conditions triggering the need for third-party care might resist the decision. How often is it necessary to go before the Board? I look forward to learning more about the practicality of the hearing process before Ontario's Consent and Capacity Board.