The Commission sets out proposals to improve civil rights in Saskatchewan’s long-term care facilities. Many are unfamiliar with rights in long-term care, including how to assert those rights and seek remedy for their breach. The Commission’s focus in this report is on violations involving non-physical abuse that are not effectively addressed by existing protocols.
There is grave concern among families and professionals over the treatment of residents of special care homes. This discussion addresses the adequacy of existing civil rights protections, whether Saskatchewan should legislate a Residents’ Bill of Rights, and how to investigate and protect the civil rights of residents.
The Commission believes that it is possible to strike a balance between protecting civil liberties and facilitating mental health care for those unable to recognize their own need for treatment. This report includes recommendations on commitment procedures, treatment, and review, and a proposed Act Respecting the Compulsory Commitment of Mentally Disordered Persons.
Between August 1979 and May 1980, the Law Reform Commission published three sets of tentative proposals concerning child custody and child civil rights. The 20 specific final recommendations in this report (mostly pertaining to the Infants Act) would implement the Commission’s earlier findings and recommendations. This report also includes a comment on the proposed Children’s Rights Act.
In response to public reaction to its earlier proposal fixing the age of capacity to consent to medical treatment at 16, the Commission now recommends judicial determination of the capacity of a minor. It also recommends an extension of the present law to allow ex parte orders permitting a mature minor to consent to medical treatment without parental notification.
Saskatchewan uses a flexible model that recognizes the civil rights of children and expands these rights based on age and circumstance. The Law Reform Commission does not recommend changing Saskatchewan’s philosophy in this area, although it should be codified with more clarity, and amendments should be made to The Infants Act.