The Right to Participate in Health Care and Health Resource Allocation Decisions Under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter
4:2 Health Law Review 3-11.
9 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2014 Last revised: 14 Mar 2015
Date Written: 1996
The paper argues that section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the right to life, liberty and security of the person) should be read to impose a constitutional obligation to incorporate informed choice into decision-making affecting individual access to health care and to require broader public participation in health policy decision-making. The argument is developed in four parts: first, that section 7 protects health-related interests and guarantees access to basic and medically necessary care; second, that the Charter governs decision-making by health care providers; third, that due process must be respected in individual health service delivery decisions, and; finally, that due process must be integrated into the health policy-making process more generally. The argument that section 7 guarantees due process in health care decision-making is consistent with the fundamental role of health care in promoting the security of Canadians and it furthers important health policy objectives relating to the accountability of health decision-making and the allocation of health care resources.
Keywords: Charter, section 7, life, liberty, security, constitution, health, health care
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation