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Diminished Capacity & Medical Treatment

Medical treatment cannot be given without your consent. You may not be able to give consent because of a mental or physical disability. In these cases the court can appointment someone to consent for you or to help you decide whether to consent.

In an emergency you can be treated even if you cannot consent.

A family member or someone who is concerned about you can ask the court to appoint them as your guardian or co-decision maker. A guardian makes decisions for you. A co-decision maker helps you make decisions. If you do not think you need one you can file an objection with the court.

You can create a health care directive to decide ahead of time what treatment you want if you are no longer able to consent. You can also name someone to make decisions for you.

Before a guardian or co- decision maker can be appointed you must undergo at least two assessments. If you do not agree to be assessed the court can order assessments. Assessments are done by doctors, nurses, social workers or other health care professionals. The assessor gives their opinion about whether an appointment is needed and can make recommendations. The assessor must also look at whether your condition could improve in the future to the point where you can give consent.

There are certain health care decisions that a co-decision maker or guardian cannot make for you. They cannot make decisions about withdrawing life support, donating organs or tissue or sterilization procedures.

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About PLEA

PLEA gratefully acknowledges our primary core funder the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan for their continuing and generous support of our organization.