The Implications of Section 7 of the Charter for Health Care Spending in Canada
Saskatoon: Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada, 2002
in G.P. Marchildon, T. McIntosh & P.-G. Forest eds., The Fiscal Sustainability of Health Care in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004) 110-136.
31 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2014 Last revised: 14 Mar 2015
Date Written: October 1, 2002
La version française de cet article peut être consultée à: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2304544
This paper address three questions relating to section 7 of the Canadian Charter in the health care context: whether section 7 guarantees a right to refuse unwanted health care; whether it establishes a right to receive care; and whether it guarantees the right to provide health care services. The implications of the section 7 requirement that deprivations of life, liberty or security of the person must be “in conformity with the principles of fundamental justice” is also considered. In the individual treatment setting, principles of fundamental justice can be met by ensuring that patients participate fully in decisions about their own care. In the policy and regulatory setting, fundamental justice can be met by ensuring that decisions relating to health care services are publicly debated before implementation. To ensure meaningful participation at the individual level, health care providers may need to spend more time with patients. At the institutional level, increased accountability of decision-making may also be more time-consuming and therefore more costly. However, such expenditures are likely to be outweighed by the savings achieved through more effective health care decisions.
Keywords: section 7, Charter, health care, decision-making, public, private, medicare, Canada, human rights, accountability
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