Under the Health Care (Consent) and Care Facility (Admission) Act, health care professionals must obtain informed consent from a patient before providing treatment.
However, if the patient is incapable, a substitute decision maker may be needed. In the absence of an already existing substitute decision maker such as a Committee of Person or Representative under a representation agreement, and in the absence of an Advance Directive relevant to the health care decision to be made, the law requires the health care provider to choose a person to provide consent to treatment from a list of qualified people that meet specific criteria. The list includes family members and close friends.
When an eligible person is not available, or there is a dispute in choosing between equally ranked decisions makers, the Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) is called upon to authorize a suitable decision maker or to make substitute treatment decisions.
See our publications Consent to Health Care and Information for Temporary Substitute Decision Makers Authorized by the PGT for more information.
See our Contact Us page for regional contact information and toll free information to access PGT health care decision making services.