Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ontario: Special Rules for POAs for Personal Care

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. 


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