Kids First Complaint and BC Attorney General response re: so-called “mature minor consent” in section 17 of BC Infants Act to medical treatment:- this violates Charter rights of parents and children- the government’s aggressive communications campaign informing minors they can hide and lie about their health care to their parents also violates the Charter

2021 May – email to BC government, Dr Bonny Henry, & health care officials requesting suspension of the Infants Act and government communications campaign targeting minors with message that violates Charter rights of parents and children

To ‘health care providers’, Dr Bonny Henry, BC Premier, BC Minister of Health, BC health officers:

The Residential Schools history teaches us that government agents including ‘health care providers’ must not undermine and violate the parent-child relationship. The BC government ignores this lesson.  

Please suspend the Infants Act section 17 until it is rewritten in a way that complies with parents’ and children’s Charter rights. Also suspend the current aggressive communication campaign informing minors that they do not need to have parental consent for ‘health care’ and that ‘health care providers’ will exclude their parents from knowing their ‘health care’ information at minors’ request.  

The BC Infants Act and the way it is used violates parents’ and children’s Charter rights to liberty, security of person, and in some cases, to life. The Act endangers children. The Act inserts ‘health care personnel’ between parents and their children thus violating the integrity of the family and endangering children.

Children, including Reena Virk, Elliot Eurchuck and Stephanie Lawrence, have died because of the Infants Act and so-called “mature minor consent” and how government agents interpret it. Others are put at extreme risk.  

Overall the state through this Act attacks and undermines the parent-child relationship that is the foundation of society.

The BC Infants Act section 17 (POSTED BELOW with notes) allows infants (minors , under the age of 19 in BC) of any age to consent or refuse ‘health care treatment’ – very broadly defined IF the ‘health care provider’ “has explained” and “has been satisfied” the infant understands.  

THE ACT DOES NOT ALLOW FOR ‘HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS’ TO WITHHOLD INFORMATION FROM PARENTS. The BC government and ‘health care providers’ made this up.  

Parents need to know their children’s health care status in order to fulfil their legal and moral obligations as parents. Children need their parents to know. This can be a matter of life and death, disability, inter-generational harm, etc.  

See info at kidsfirstcanada.org (more info to be posted soon)
Mature minor consent & Infants Act  

FROM THE INFANTS ACT  

Part 2 — Medical Treatment

Consent of infant to medical treatment

17   (1) In this section:

“health care” means anything that is done for a therapeutic, preventive, palliative, diagnostic, cosmetic or other health related purpose, and includes a course of health care;
[NOTE: OVER-BROAD DEFINITION contrary to the principles of fundamental justice]

“health care provider” includes a person licensed, certified or registered in British Columbia to provide health care.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), an infant may consent to health care whether or not that health care would, in the absence of consent, constitute a trespass to the infant’s person, and if an infant provides that consent, the consent is effective and it is not necessary to obtain a consent to the health care from the infant’s parent or guardian.

(3) A request for or consent, agreement or acquiescence to health care by an infant does not constitute consent to the health care for the purposes of subsection (2) unless the health care provider providing the health care

(a) has explained to the infant and has been satisfied that the infant understands the nature and consequences and the reasonably foreseeable benefits and risks of the health care, and

(b) has made reasonable efforts to determine and has concluded that the health care is in the infant’s best interests.

[NOTE: no details about how this is done; no need for anything in writing; no objective testing of child’s capacity; no need to involve parents to know child’s best interests and check out medical history; no liability for health care provider’; no continuity of care for child when parents are left out, etc]  

All the best,  

Helen Ward
President
Kids First Parent Association of Canada
www.kidsfirstcanada.org
604-291-0088

2021 August 9 – Reply from BC Attorney General to request for suspension of section 17 the Infants Act

Helen Ward

President

Kids First Parent Association of Canada

Email:  info@kidsfirstcanada.org     

Dear Helen Ward:

Your email of May 28, 2021 respecting Section 17 of the Infants Act, R.S.B.C. 1996 c. 223, received by the Honourable Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, has been referred to me as Attorney General, for response. 

I understand that it is your position that Section 17 should be “suspended” by the Legislature based on your concern that this Section undermines parents’ rights and the rights of parents and minors under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the Charter).

At law, there is a presumption that legislation is constitutional, and that presumption applies to the Section about which you have raised concerns.  A person who believes that his or her rights have been violated may bring a challenge to that legislation or action taken under that legislation.  My role as Attorney General does not extend to providing legal advice to members of the public.  If you would like to seek information about your legal rights and options, a number of groups in this province provide free legal services and information under certain circumstances.  Although this ministry does not endorse or confirm the accuracy or completeness of information or advice provided by any of the following resources, I am advised that they are currently available to British Columbians.

  • Access Pro Bono Society of British Columbia

    300 – 845 Cambie Street

    Vancouver BC  V6B 4Z9

    Telephone:  604-878-7400

    Toll-free telephone in BC:  1-877-762-6664

    Facsimile:  604-893-8934

    Email:  help@accessprobono.ca

    Website:  www.accessprobono.ca 
  • UBC Law Students’ Legal Advice Program

            University of British Columbia

            Faculty of Law – Room 158

            1822 East Mall

            Vancouver BC  V6T 1Z1

            Telephone:  604-822-5791

            Facsimile:  604-822-1661

For those who are unable to find free legal advice, the following service can refer individuals to a lawyer in their area who can be consulted for up to 30 minutes for a fee of $25 plus applicable taxes.

In addition, the Province provides a resource that may be of assistance.  In some cases, Justice Access Centres in Vancouver, Surrey, Abbotsford, Victoria, and Nanaimo are able to assist with civil and family justice needs.  You may wish to call a Justice Access Centre to discuss the options available to you.  Staff at a Justice Access Centre may be able to help assess what you need, provide information about legal and related issues, and refer you to available services and resources.  More information is available at:  www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/justice/about-bcs-justice-system/jac

Thank you for writing to government.

Yours truly,

David Eby, QC

Attorney General and

Minister Responsible for Housing