Friday June 12, 2020
9:00 am to 4:40 pm
The legal environment governing mental health, psychotherapy and counselling has become increasingly complex, challenging and intimidating. However, contrary to conventional wisdom, Canadian law is supportive of treatment, counselling and care professionals who have acted reasonably and in good faith. This workshop will provide participants with a practical understanding of the key legal principles governing their professional lives and the ability to identify and avoid common legal problems.
Reference will be made to the leading Canadian cases, current Ontario legislation and emerging issues, which will be summarized in the handout materials. The workshop will cover the following topics: consent, capacity to consent, substitute consent and parental authority to exercise substitute consent; negligence and the standards of care in assigning subordinate staff counselling, investigating allegations of abuse and providing references; documentation, ownership of records, client access to records, computer records, record retention policies, email communication, statements of opinion and recording information about, or from, a third party; confidentiality, privilege and disclosure of client information; mandatory reporting obligations; and the duty to warn. In the conclusion, some common-sense rules will be suggested for anticipating and avoiding legal problems.
Robert Solomon is an experienced and engaging speaker with a reputation for presentations that are both entertaining and informative. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions throughout the workshop, and will gain a thorough understanding of how the law is applied in clinical settings.
You will learn the general legal principles governing—
- Consent, capacity to consent and substitute consent to treatment, counselling and care
- Consent forms, ages of consent, the hierarchy of substitute decision makers and custody, access and parental consent
- Negligence, liability of supervisors, and the standards of care in assigning subordinate staff counselling, investigating allegations of abuse and providing references
- Documentation, civil liability for negligent record keeping, guidelines for record keeping, ownership and client access to records, record retention policies, the use of computer records and recording information about, or from, a third party
- The legal obligation of confidentiality, the sources and adverse consequences of breaching it, privileged communication and the disclosure of confidential information based on implicit and explicit consent
- Mandatory reporting obligations under the Criminal Code, the growing number of reporting obligations under Ontario provincial law and the common-law duty to warn