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Top Five 2003: Starson v Swayze

Each year at OJEN’s Toronto Summer Law Institute, a judge from the Court of Appeal for Ontario identifies five cases that are of significance in the educational setting. This summary, based on these comments and observations, is appropriate for discussion and debate in the classroom setting.

Starson v Swayze, 2003 SCC 32, [2003] 1 SCR 722

A majority of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) overturned a decision that allowed doctors to prescribe treatment to a man with bipolar disorder treatment without his consent.  The Court also held that the test for capacity must look to whether a patient demonstrates “an inability to appreciate [the] risks and benefits” of a given treatment [para. 111]. The full decision is available here.


Date Produced: 2003

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