This document explains the importance of capacity as a health care topic, responsibilities of health care providers, why capacity can be a challenging topic, the legislation behind health care decision making, tips and resources specifically relevant to primary care.

This guide provides a very general overview of the law and suggested practice for health practitioners in dealing with issues of incapacity to consent to treatment, admission to a long term care facility or manage property. It is not a legal opinion nor does it constitute legal advice. It does not include every detail contained in the law or the specific legal provisions that may apply in a particular case. For specific information about the law, please refer to the applicable statutes and consult your lawyer.

The guidelines are the work of Dr. Janet Munson, who in collaboration of Dr. Jean Kozak, developed and field tested the procedures in a research project funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General.  These are intended to assist in the provision of consistent and high quality assessments in the service of Ontario's vulnerable adults and their families. Designated capacity assessors are required to follow the methodologies set out in the Guidelines when conducting assessments under the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992 (SDA)

Judith Wahl of the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly developed this document to provide an overview of key considerations related to Capacity and Consent assessment in Ontario.  It gives an introduction on older clients and capacity, definitions of capacity as outlined by Ontario law, who assesses capacity, how it is assessed, how to assess the assessments and the impact of assessments.

This webpage provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding the purpose and role of the Capacity Assessment Office in Ontario.  It also outlines how mental incapacity is defined and the role of the Capacity Assessor.

This webinar discusses substitute decision making for people with communication disabilities. This webinar was held on May 25, 2016 and is brought to you by Communication Disabilities Access Canada and is made possible through funding from The Law Foundation of Ontario. For more information, you can visit us on the web at: http://cdacanada.com

This webinar discusses capacity to consent for treatment for people with communication disabilities. This webinar was held on May 18, 2016 and is brought to you by Communication Disabilities Access Canada and is made possible through funding from The Law Foundation of Ontario. For more information, you can visit us on the web at: http://cdacanada.com

This short video describes the Health Care Consent Act in Ontario and the role and importance of a Substitute Decision Maker.

This webpage provides downloadable videos and pdf toolkits on the topics of mock hearings:

  • for admission to care facilities
  • to determine patient capacity to make psychiatric treatment decisions
  • for applications to determine compliance with principles of substitute decision making

You will need windows media player to play the videos.

This condensed module explores the process of Advance Care Planning and Health Care Consent.  The module is self-directed and allows the user to move through the slides at their own page. There is narration which can be disable if preferred. Approximately 30 minutes. 

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