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The Representation Agreement Act and health care consent legislation – 15 years later!

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Written by Joanne on June 12, 2015

It is over 15 years since the Representation Agreement Act came into effect—its purpose was to reform the adult guardianship system.

This means reforming the health and social service systems from the ‘we know best’ approach to a person/patient-centered approach based on self-determination. It seems that changes in culture and practice are difficult for systems.

We are still waiting.       

Nidus was invited to make a presentation to the Standing Committee on Health of the BC Legislative Assembly on May 15, 2015. Our recommendations focused on ways to improve best practices in end-of-life care. But the recommendations apply to all life areas: health care, personal care, financial and legal affairs—and all stages of life—from becoming an adult (age 19 in BC and when parental rights end) through to death.

Our focus is on ‘quality-of-life to the end-of-life.’

Nidus recommends:


British Columbia has excellent legislation to enable planning, including for end-of-life care, however, the education and practice is dismal—making it difficult for people to make legally effective documents.

Clarity refers to consistency, accuracy and completeness of messaging and education across all sectors and disciplines. Without this, planning is not accessible.

“CIBC told me (the representative) that a Representation Agreement Section 7 for financial and legal affairs is not a valid document and they offered to shred their copy. Is this true? We followed the instructions for making it…” [Email June 11, 2015]

“The doctor insisted my husband fill out the M.O.S.T. form. Does it supersede a Representation Agreement?” [Parkinson Regional Conference June 11, 2015]

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