Is your spouse, child or parent with mental illness refusing to get treatment? If yes, you may wish to know whether they can legally refuse or, as their guardian, you can make the decision for them. 

In Alberta, Canada, patients diagnosed with mental illness do have the right to refuse treatment, provided they are deemed to be mentally competent to make treatment decisions. Additionally, if the admission certificate that admitted them to the hospital for treatment has expired, patients cannot be forced to stay on for treatment; unless they volunteer to do so.

However, if the patient is deemed to pose harm to self or others, hospitals do still have the right to use minor restraint – in the form of medication or minimal physical restraints – to keep the patient safe. During that time, as the guardian, you are allowed to consult the hospital for further advice and then take a mindful decision.

If you need advice about mental health laws in Canada or how to legally care for a family member with mental illness, please consult our team at Worobec Law Offices.