Don’t allow yourself to be forced into a residential care facility
By Paul Caune
If you are a Baby Boomer (soon to be a senior) and you live in British Columbia and you find yourself being told by one its health authorities that you have to live in a residential care facility, my advice is: obey the law.
It is the policy of the British Columbia’s Ministry of Health services that health authorities must ensure “the client has consented in writing to be admitted to a residential care facility.” (Ministry of Health, Home and Community Care Policy Manual, April 2011, Residential Care Services: General Description and Definitions, 6.A.)
So what do you do if the BC Government wants to force you into a residential care facility?
You reply, “NO. I do not consent. You have to have my written consent and I will not sign such a form.”
“Furthermore,” you should say, “according to the BC Health Care Consent Act, I do not have to receive care from any medical professional if I do not consent to do so. Therefore, I will put in writing that I do not consent to receive medical care from any medical health care professional working in any residential care facility in BC.”
Why would you be justified in saying “No”? It is legal but is it ethical?
Yes. As a society we are agreed that it is reasonable and fair that our society will put no human being, other than our soldiers and a few other professions in certain circumstances, knowingly into harm’s way. As many of my previous columns have highlighted, Canadian residential care facilities are dangerous and degrading places to live in.
In fact, BC’s health authorities go to great lengths to get your MIS-informed consent to live in their residential care facilities.
Am I saying that health care professionals deliberately withhold information that voters, if they knew, would use to refuse their consent to live in residential care facilities? Affirmative. Many of my previous columns and plenty of news articles prove that health care professionals do this routinely.
When you exercise your legal right not to consent to live in a residential care facility BC’s health authorities will try to bully you into consenting. They will say you have no choice. They will threaten to withdraw all services. They may call the police.
Just stay calm, stay focused, cite the relevant law and policy, just say “No” over and over again. Retain legal council. Demand your MLA publicly support your right to obey the letter of the law. Start a civil obedience campaign. You read that correctly: a civil obedience campaign.
Use the law to preserve your freedom and dignity. Lord knows the government won’t.
Paul Caune is the Executive Director of CIVIL RIGHTS NOW! Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or http://civilrightsnow.ca.