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Adult Protection and Decision-Making

The Adult Protection and Decision-Making Act, The Care Consent Act, and Advance Directive information

Adult Protection and Decision-Making

The Adult Protection and Decision-Making Act provides a range of tools to assist adults (19 and older) who have some diminished ability, to make their own decisions. Tools include Supported Decision-Making Agreements, Representation Agreements, court-appointed guardianship and adult protection for adults who may be abused or neglected and unable to seek their own help.

Specially-trained social workers in Health and Social Services are now designated to look into reports of adult abuse and neglect where the adult is unable to seek their own help. Social workers focus on supporting and assisting the adult who is abused or neglected. The Act also provides some legal tools for assisting adults including warrants of entry and adult protection orders (e.g. restraining orders). However, the social workers will use the least intrusive method and work with the adult to reduce risk. For more information call the Health and Social Services social workers in Whitehorse at 456-3946. Outside of Whitehorse, contact your Regional Social Worker.

Guardianship

Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee

The Public Guardian and Trustee of Yukon protects the legal rights and financial interests of children, acts as guardian of last resort for adults who have no known relatives or friends to assist them, and administers the estates of deceased and missing persons where there is no known next-of-kin.

Supported Decision-Making Agreements

Part 1

 of the Adult Protection and Decision-Making Act provides for Supported Decision-Making Agreements. These agreements are for adults who can make their own decisions with some help. Two adults can enter into an agreement setting out the areas that an “associate” (support person) will assist the individual to make decisions. The agreement does not authorize the associate to make decisions on behalf of the adult. The agreement must be done on the form provided by the Yukon government.

Representation Agreements

Part 2

 of the Adult Protection and Decision-Making Act provides for Representation Agreements. These agreements are for adults who recognize that they have trouble making some decisions. Two adults can enter into an agreement giving one or more “representatives” the authority to make day-to-day financial and personal decisions for the adult. The adults who enter into a Representative Agreement must understand what they are signing and how it affects their lives. If at any point the adult no longer understands the agreement, the Representatives no longer have any authority to make decisions for the adult. If you want to appoint someone to make financial decisions for you in the event you become incapable of making those decisions yourself, you should visit a lawyer to make an Enduring Power of Attorney.

Representation Agreements must be witnessed by a designated witness. Call a Health and Social Services social worker at 667-5674 or 456-3946 or the regional social worker in your community to have it witnessed. (First Nations’ health and social services staff can also witness these agreements.)

A Representation Agreement must be done on the form provided by the Yukon government.

Care Consent Act

The Care Consent Act deals with consent and substitute consent to health care, admission to care facilities and personal assistance services (i.e. Home Care). It sets out the requirements for a valid advance directive. It also establishes the Capability and Consent Board.

An Advance Directive provides individuals with an opportunity to plan for an unexpected illness or accident that leaves them unable to communicate the kind of health care and support they want or do not want. An Advanced Directive identifies a substitute decision maker who can speak on their behalf.

Consent and Substitute Consent

Part 1

 of the Care Consent Act deals with consent and substitute consent. A person of any age who is capable of understanding and appreciating the consequences of their care decision has the right to give or refuse consent to care on any grounds. This includes the right to give or refuse consent to care based on religious beliefs. Consent is required for all care decisions except emergency health care, preliminary examination and health care in progress.

In an emergency, if the care provider knows that you do not want certain treatments, they are obligated to respect those wishes. Outside of an emergency, if you are not mentally capable to consent to your own health care decision (e.g. you are unconscious), the care provider will turn to a list of substitute decision-makers. From this list, a relative or friend can be chosen to make the decision for you.

Care Consent Act Forms

Advance Directives

Part 2

 of the Care Consent Act deals with advance directives. Any person who is capable and at least 16 years old can make a directive. A directive must appoint a proxy and may set out your wishes for future health care. A proxy is someone that you trust and want to make your care decisions in the event you cannot make your own decisions. The advantage of making an advance directive is that you can appoint the person you want to play this role. This type of planning can assist your family at a time of great emotional stress and can reduce the potential for family disputes regarding the care you should receive.

In addition to advance directives, the Yukon also has developed a Resuscitation and Care form.  This form is not an advance directive because it does not appoint a proxy.  However, people can use this form to set out their wishes for care. Resuscitation and Care form

Temporary financial protection

Part 3

 of the Care Consent Act includes temporary financial protection for people who are incapable of making a care decision and also not able to manage their financial affairs. For example, you may be in a car accident, suffer a head injury and suddenly be unable to pay your bills. The bank may not allow other people to access your bank account. In this situation, a certificate can be issued and sent to the Public Guardian and Trustee (Yukon Justice). The Public Guardian and Trustee can then look after your finances for up to 60 days.

Documents

Contact info

Adult Protection and Decision-Making

Phone: 867-456-3946

Toll Free (Yukon, Nunavut and NWT); 1-800-661-0408 ext. 3946

Mailing Address:

Adult Protection and Decision-Making (H-3)
Health & Social Services, Government of Yukon
Box 2703
Whitehorse, Yukon  Y1A 2C6

Location: 100 - 204 Black St | Whitehorse, Yukon [map]

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