Court challenge over forced psychiatric treatments

Forced treatment for people with mental-health issues while they are involuntarily detained violates their Charter rights, according to a court challenge reported in the Globe and Mail.

Treatment is currently permitted by B.C.’s Mental Health Act, which states that a person who is involuntarily detained is deemed to consent to all psychiatric treatment authorized by the health authority.

UBC law professor Isabel Grant commented that this is a “wide exertion of provincial power” and violates Charter rights.

“We don’t do that in any other context: If you have a physical illness that you’re making bad decisions about, we let you make those bad decisions,” said Grant.