Towards Autonomy: Exploring the Clinical, Legal and Ethical Aspects of Mental Capacity

Posted By David Parry – Feb. 28, 2011


An Expert Panel Discussion

Monday, March 7th 2011, from 6h00 to 7h30PM

McGill Faculty of Law

New Chancellor Day Hall, Room 312

Entry is free.


The Honorable Pierre-C. Gagnon, Superior Court of Quebec (Chair)

Me. Ann Soden Ad.E, Centre for Law and Aging

Dr. Henry Olders, Geriatric Psychiatrist, Ste. Anne’s Hospital

Prof. Martin Cole, McGill University Department of Psychiatry

Me. François Dupin Ad.E, Public Curator of Quebec

Ms. Monique Renaud MSW, Gerontological Social Services

Prof. Ronald Sklar, McGill University Faculty of Law

Diminished mental capacity is an issue with wide-ranging implications for the life of a person and her or his loved ones. This bilingual expert panel will discuss the importance of adopting a multidisciplinary approach to mental capacity. Current responses and challenges with regard to diminished mental capacity will be described from the perspective of medical researchers and clinicians, social workers, government agencies, pro bono legal actors, legal researchers and the judiciary. Panellists will also discuss how differing professional approaches could be coordinated to centre around the key values of presumption of capacity, promotion of autonomy, maximisation of positive family and social connections, and support for residual capacity. The panel will emphasize the particular vulnerability of persons with diminished capacity within the medical and legal systems, and the need for increased comprehensiveness, sensitivity and collaboration among professionals in these areas. This collaborative approach would allow for determinations of capacity and protections which minimally restrict autonomy.

The panel event will be followed by a reception. All are welcome.

For more information, please contact

Bar of Quebec continuing education accreditation pending

This Expert Panel is organised by the McGill Journal of Law and Health, the Disability & the Law Portfolio of the Human Rights Working Group, and the Centre for Law & Aging.

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