Thursday, May 24, 2012

An order cannot be made requiring a hospital to take a s.672.58 patient where there are no beds

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health v. Ontario, 2012 ONCA 342 was released today.

A treatment order under s. 672.58 of the Criminal Code can be makde requiring an accused to submit involuntarily to anti-psychotic drug therapy following a finding that the accused is unfit to stand trial. Unfortunately, sometimes medical resources are unavailable and an order is made but not fulfilled as there are not enough beds.

The decision today holds that an order cannot be made requiring a hospital to take a s. 672.58 patient where there is no room -- that is forcing the hospital to somehow make room.

The entire decision is worth a close reading.

Some might ask if this will lead hospital funding to be less available:

"The Consent Requirement In s. 672.62 Does Not Violate s. 7 of the Charter

[26]       In addition, I am satisfied that the "consent" requirement in s. 672.62 of the Criminal Code does not violate s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  I say this because even if a hospital's refusal to admit an unfit accused for a s. 672.58 treatment order immediately engages the accused person's right to liberty and security of the person as contemplated by s. 7, the unfit accused is deprived of those rights in a manner that accords with the principles of fundamental justice."

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