Common Questions

What rights do patients have around consent to health care?

Generally, both adults and children (if capable) can be given health care only with their consent (permission). But if a person is unconscious, mentally incapable, or otherwise unable to give consent, the law sets out procedures to follow.

Good starting points include:

  • Consent to Health Care, from the Public Guardian and Trustee, explains what the law says about who can give consent to health care for adults, and how problems can be resolved.
  • Adults and Consent to Health Care, from the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch, provides information about the laws that apply to adults relating to consent to medical care.
  • Children and Consent to Medical Care, from the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch, provides an overview of the laws around consent to health care for children.

Need more help?

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Last reviewed December 2018
future health care decisions, doctors & health care providers, health care decisions, health care planning, consent to medical care, consent to treatment, incapable of consenting, representation agreement, advance directive, temporary substitute decision maker (TSDM), committee of person, no cpr form, life support, euthanasia, resuscitation