Continued conversation with Isfahan Merali, acting legal counsel for the Consent and Capacity Board (CCB), about general health rights of young people and how CCB can be involved in the process! For part 1, click here!
5. When a young person does not agree with being locked in a hospital for mental health reasons, what happens at the CCB hearing?
When the CCB receives an application, the CCB must schedule a hearing within 7 days unless all the parties agree to postponing the hearing. The CCB will try to reach all the “parties” to an application (patient and physician, usually) or their lawyer ( if a party has a lawyer) to figure out a hearing date that works for all parties.
All CCB hearings are open to the public which means anyone can attend a Board hearing.
The Board will send a “Notice of Hearing” to all parties and their lawyers once the hearing date is set.
A Rights Advisor can assist a person applying to the Board in getting a lawyer or the Board can order Legal Aid Ontario to appoint one, if the applicant wishes. A person has the right to choose your own lawyer if they wish.
Information sheets that explain more about the CCB process available on the Board’s website at http://www.ccboard.on.ca/scripts/english/publications/infosheets.asp.
6. Why is it important for young people to know about and to be able to go to the CCB?
It is important for young people to know about their rights under the law to a review by the CCB if they are found incapable to consent to treatment, or if they are involuntarily detained in hospital for mental health reasons. The CCB process makes every effort to ensure that all parties have a fair, timely, effective and respectful hearing that balances legal and medical considerations while protecting a person’s rights to dignity and autonomy as well as ensuring community safety.
To make sure decisions are just and independent, rules and procedures are followed in CCB hearings to make sure they are balanced and fair. The CCB will have a panel of 1, 3 or 5 members sit on hearings to make decisions. In cases where a person has applied to have their involuntary status reviewed, there is usually a lawyer member, a psychiatrist member and a public member on the panel that makes the decision.
There is no cost to make an application to the CCB. Hearings are recorded in case a transcript is required.
Each party may attend the hearing and invite anyone they want to come. The hearing is open to the public so anyone may attend to observe.
At the hearing, the Presiding Member will introduce everyone and explain how the hearing will work, who the parties are and the order that people will be asked to speak. Each party may have a lawyer (if they wish), call witnesses and bring documents. Each party, as well as the Board members, may ask questions of each witness. At the end of the hearing each party will be given a chance to summarize their position and the panel will then end the hearing.
After the hearing is done, the panel will meet privately to discuss everything they heard and all the documents they were given to review. The panel will give the parties their decision within one day.
If you would like reasons for the panel’s decision, and you ask for these reasons within 30 days of the hearing, you will receive them within 4 days of making your request. CCB Reasons for the Decision will be posted on the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) website. However, to protect the privacy of individual parties (such as patients and their families), initials are used instead of full names of patients and family members and other information that could personally identify a patient or family member (for example, their employer or school) are removed from CCB Reasons for Decision posted on CanLII.
If any party does not agree with the CCB decision, they can appeal the decision to the Superior Court of Justice.
You can get information sheets, application forms and more information about the CCB by contacting the Board or on the CCB web site at http://www.ccboard.on.ca/