“a gross violation of their charter rights”

Ontario Health Alliance

Attn: Assignment Editor

TORONTO, Nov. 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Ontario Health Coalition and the Advocacy Center for the Elderly this morning launched a constitutional challenge in response to new legislation by the Ford government to place elderly hospital patients in long-term care homes forces. His choice The two groups will be co-applicants to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in what is known as a charter challenge, seeking a court ruling to strike down the law as a violation of patients’ fundamental rights. charter of rights and freedoms,

On Sunday 20 November, the Regulations under Bill 7, euphemistically titled More Beds Better Care Act (2022) came into effect, requiring hospitals to charge elderly patients $400 if they refuse to move into a long-term care home or other service against their will. The act provided neither more beds nor better care, despite the title being given to it by the Ford government. Instead, it affects patients, most of them elderly, called alternate level of care (ALC) patients who are waiting for long-term care or other services. It enables hospitals and discharge planners to:

  • assess the patient without their consent,

  • share their personal health information with long-term care or an array of other companies without their consent,

  • fill their applications without their consent, and;

  • Admit them to long-term care homes or other services without their consent.

Patients will be transferred 70 km away in Southern Ontario. In Northern Ontario, patients can be transferred up to 150 km away, or any distance if a bed is not available. If a patient refuses to leave, the hospital is required to charge them $400 per day.

Jen Meads, attorney and institutional advocate for the Advocacy Center for the Elderly (ACE), said, “The purpose of the law and the mandatory $400 fee is to intimidate and coerce older adults into leaving the hospital, even those that are unreasonable.” Huh,”. , “Under this legislation, the personal health information of hospitalized seniors can be sent to any long-term care home without their consent, which violates the fundamental right to privacy over health information that is enjoyed by every second-person resident of Ontario.” Citizens get.”

“This law would result in the forced entry of older adults into homes away from their spouses, with whom they may be married for 50 or 60 years, making it impossible for them to travel, possibly for the rest of their lives.” , causing unimaginable harm to both,” said lawyer Graham Webb who is ACE’s executive director. “Now they can send a hospital patient to a long-term care home that is hours away from their home, resulting in the inability for family or loved ones to visit regularly. This deprivation has caused untold harm and suffering to residents, and Bill 7 will reapply this harm to senior citizens across the province.

“Bill 7 represents an unprecedented and egregious lack of charter rights of many elderly and vulnerable hospital patients with respect to both their right to life, liberty, and security of person and equality,” said Steven Schreibman, counsel for Goldblatt Partners LLP, health coalition in the charter challenge, and counsel for ACE. “Since the bill 7 is intended to force some hospital patients, who can no longer be cared for at home, into a long-term care home, who may have a terrible record and away from their family and community Yes, it is a direct affront to the fundamental right to give informed consent for medical treatment.”

“Bill 7 targets a group of people who are vulnerable and vulnerable because of their physical or mental health issues and/or old age, and therefore their right to equality under section 15 chartersaid attorney Benjamin Piper of Goldblatt Partners LLP.

“We are under tremendous pressure from Ontarians in general, who are furious and fearful of living in long-term care homes that are too far away or have terrible reputations,” explained executive director Natalie Mehra. “There is no doubt that there is a crisis in our hospitals – a crisis that is the result of government policy alternative – Ontario’s hospitals have the lowest funding options in the country and the fewest staff and beds in operation of any province. Options not to do what is needed to rectify the staffing crisis and build more public long-term care beds as soon as possible. There are many other solutions to the hospital crisis, but picking up steam on the fundamental rights of the elderly and the dying is not one of them.

“We are talking about elderly patients in their last months of life. They are human beings with the same rights to compassion and care as all Ontario residents. Their lives have value. They should not be held against their will in a place be sent where they are too afraid to go, away from their loved ones, where they are most likely to die. This is wrong. In principle we have to challenge this.’

The Ontario Health Coalition has compiled a list of long-term care homes with the longest waiting lists and shortest waiting lists in each region of the province, to clarify where patients are most likely to be forced. Available at: https://www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca/wp-content/uploads/LTC-waitlist-data-final.pdf

The Ontario Health Coalition aims to raise funds to meet the costs of the Charter Challenge. To give you a sense of the work we need to do, we need to find 500 people who will donate $1000 each, 1000 people who will donate $500 each, or 10,000 people who will donate $50 each or 20,000 people who will donate $50 each. Will donate $25. If you can help, please donate here: https://www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca/index.php/donate-now/.

for more information: Natalie Mehra, Executive Director, Ontario Health Alliance Cell (416) 230-6402; Graham Webb Executive Director and Counsel, Advocacy Center for the Elderly (416) 598-2656 x 230; Jane Meades, attorney and institutional advocate, Advocacy Center for the Elderly (416) 995-7879; Steven Shribman Counsel, Goldblatt Partners (613) 858-6842; Ben Piper Lawyers Goldblatt Partners (343) 575-4700.

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