Substitute Decision-Making

  • All Canadian provinces and territories have laws that allow for the appointment of a substitute decision-maker
  • A substitute decision-maker may be:
    • Appointed by a court to make decisions on behalf of a person who is found to be incapable in law to make their own decisions (e.g. guardianship)
    • Granted authority, through a power of attorney, to make substitute decisions on someone else’s behalf
  • Once the substitute decision-maker has authority to act, they make the decision on behalf of the incapable person
  • In some circumstances the law obliges substitute decision-makers to adhere to a person’s wishes (expressed while capable), and to take account of a person’s values and beliefs