The relatively new government in Ontario, through the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, has released the province's new Patient Declaration of Values. The document was prepared for the Ministry by the Minister’s Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC). The PFAC is a formalized body that provides advice and recommendations to the Minister on matters relating to patients, families, caregivers and the health system.
As stated in their own news release:
The Declaration is a vision that articulates a path toward patient partnership across the health care system in Ontario. It describes a set of foundational principles that are considered from the perspective of Ontario patients and serves as a guidance document for those involved in our health care system.
The Declaration champions the shift for the role of patients, families and caregivers across the health care system in Ontario and outlines expectations about values, resources and supports that should be prioritized.
It is intended to serve as a guide at all levels of the health care system for the planning and delivery of health care policy, programs and services. The focus is on the patients and their becoming partners within the system.
The Declaration is grounded in five core elements that all deal with how health care should be delivered to patients. They are:
The document serves as a guide to the reasonable and necessary expectations of patients when receiving care. This was a consultive report with opportunities being made for input from patients, caregivers, volunteers and the community. Although many hospitals and care facilities have their own codes or standards in place, this is a province-wide declaration for all of Ontario. It will be interesting to see how it is used and by whom. It will no doubt be relied upon for standard of care arguments in the future.
At Wise Health Law, we rely on our significant experience with the complaint process for all health care professionals, our experience before discipline panels of various regulatory Colleges and Review Boards to provide our clients with exceptional guidance and representation through the often-overwhelming discipline process. We also have significant experience before the civil courts, enabling us to provide our clients with exceptional guidance and representation through the often-overwhelming negligence litigation process. To find out more about how we can help, contact us online, or at 416-915-4234for a consultation.
In December 2019, Ontario’s Attorney General introduced Bill 161, the Smarter and Stronger Justice Act (the “Act”), which became law on July 8, 2020. The Act hopes to simplify a complex and outdated justice system by bringing changes to how legal aid services are delivered, how class actions are handled, and how court processes are administered.
Of note, the Act has amended the Judicial Review Procedures Act (JRPA) to establish new rules as to when an application for judicial review may be brought.
Any decisions made on or after July 8, 2020 are now subject to a 30-day limit for bringing an application for judicial review unless another Act provides otherwise. Courts, however, retain powers to extend the time for making an application for judicial review if satisfied that there are apparent grounds for relief and that no prejudice or hardship will be incurred by the delay. Before these amendments, the JRPA did not set out any time limits for bringing an application, but courts had powers to extend the time to bring an application if another Act prescribed the limit.
In early August 2020, the Federal Minister of Health granted an exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) to four terminally ill Canadians to use psilocybin in their end of life care.
Psilocybin is one of the active ingredients/chemicals in “magic mushrooms,” the other is psilocin. Both psilocybin and psilocin are controlled substances under Schedule III of the CDSA. The sale, possession, production, etc. are prohibited unless authorized for clinical trial or research purposes under Part J of the Food and Drug Regulations. Both have been illegal in Canada since 1974. According to Health Canada, there are no approved therapeutic products containing psilocybin in Canada. However, the purified active ingredient, i.e. psilocybin, is being studied in supervised clinical settings for its potential to treat various conditions such as anxiety and depression.