Health Sciences Building, 155 College Street, Room 108
  • November 2, 2016 from 4:10pm to 5:30pm

Speakers: Karen Faith, BSW, MEd, MSc, Bioethics Consultant and Speaker; and Kevin Reel, MSc, OT Reg. (Ont.), Ethicist, Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre, Assistant Professor and Associate Graduate Faculty Member, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Assistant Professor and Associate Graduate Faculty Member, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Associate Member, Institute of Medical Science, Faculty, Global Institute for Psychosocial, Palliative and End-of-Life Care

The duties of a substitute decision maker (SDM) are strategically important to ensuring that the previous wishes, values, experiences and beliefs of a now incapable patient are understood and considered in providing consent for treatment.

Under any circumstances this can be a vexing task. However, in situations in which the patient has had a serious mental illness and has sustained critical injury and incapacity resulting from an incomplete suicide, the SDM of an ICU patient can be confronted with particularly complex challenges. The SDM and care team can have the difficult task of not only having to review the patient’s previously stated wishes, her life circumstances but also her mental state at the time such wishes were expressed. This unfolds within a social context in which those with serious mental illness, who have experienced an incomplete suicide, can experience bias within health care settings.

This seminar will explore a scenario which highlights such challenges faced by a patient’s care team, her chosen SDM and her parent in reaching a common understanding of how her wishes, values, beliefs and experiences should inform consent for life sustaining measures following an incomplete suicide.