Areas of Practice

Mental Health/Health Care Consent/Substitute Decision MakingMental Health/Health Care Consent/Substitute Decision Making


Under the Mental Health Act a person may be detained involuntarily or informally in a hospital setting, usually a psychiatric facility.

Under the Health Care Consent Act, a person may be found incapable to consent to their own treatment and/or going in to long term care. Also, under the Health Care Consent Act a substitute decision maker can be brought before a Board regarding their decision making, by the attending physician of the incapable person.

Under the Substitute Decisions Act, a person’s ability to manage their own financial affairs may be affected, if found incapable. Financial incapacity can also be determined under the Mental Health Act. Findings of incapacity triggers decision making by a substitute decision maker, either named in a Power of Attorney for Property, or in some cases by the Public Guardian and Trustee.

The Substitute Decisions Act, also deals with substitute decisions being made on behalf of another person, if incapable.

Findings of incapacity under any of the Mental Health Act, Substitute Decisions Act and Health Care Consent Act can be challenged before the Consent and Capacity Board.

A person has the right to have a lawyer represent them at a hearing and at any subsequent appeals to the Superior Court. Legal Aid Ontario will fund a lawyer to represent individuals who apply for a hearing, if the person qualifies financially. We can advise about the involuntary status and findings of incapacity and attend at the Consent and Capacity Board on any issue.