Update on the Charter Challenge to BC's Mental Health Act

In September 2016, CCD filed a Charter challenge to the laws in British Columbia that prevent involuntary psychiatric patients from agreeing to or refusing psychiatric treatment. Doctors in BC are not legally required to assess whether these patients are capable of making treatment decisions before forcing psychiatric treatment against their will. This approach reinforces harmful stereotypes by equating mental illness with being incapable.

In August 2018, the BC government brought an application to have the case dismissed, arguing that CCD did not have the legal status (“standing”) to defend the rights of people with mental disabilities in court. In October 2018, the BC Supreme Court decided that CCD did not have standing and dismissed the case before it got to trial. CCD has appealed the Court’s decision. You can read more about this here http://www.clasbc.net/current_cases.

We are disappointed that the government chose this path instead of coming to court to address the important issues in this case. Everyone, including people with mental disabilities, deserves the right to control their own health care.