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Rights Advice


Why Rights Advice:

Rights Advice is mandated by the Mental Health Act which requires that patients receive formal rights advice in certain situations when their legal status has changed. This is an important part in the system of checks and balances to protect the rights and autonomy of mental health patients in Ontario.

Rights Advice is provided to the patient by a certified Rights Adviser.  The information provided to the patients is done in a neutral. Non-judgemental manner which allows the patient to make their own informed decisions regarding their individual circumstance.

Rights Advice applies to all patients, regardless of age. These meetings are private and confidential, between the patient and the Rights Adviser only.  They do not involve anyone else, including family or hospital staff. PPAO's Rights Advisers are independent, they don’t work for the hospital.Their services are free and are legally required.  


Role of Rights Advisers:

In a private and confidential setting the Rights Adviser explains how the form affects the person’s rights and what their choices are if they disagree with the doctor’s decision.  

If the person wants, they can ask for the Rights Adviser’s help in arranging for a review of the doctor’s decision. The Rights Adviser will assist in the application to the Consent and Capacity Board, which is an independent tribunal. On the person’s instruction, the Rights Adviser will also find a lawyer to represent them at the hearing and help them apply for legal aid. 

Clients can refuse rights advice once a Rights Adviser arrives in which case the Rights Adviser would leave, but the law requires a Rights Adviser to visit when a person is put the following forms:  

Mandatory Rights Advice Situations:

1.  Forms that make a person an involuntary patient for two weeks or more.                    

     Involuntary patients cannot leave the hospital without the doctor’s permission. (Form 3,  4 or 4a) 

2.  A form that says a doctor has found a person incapable of consenting to treatment.  
Someone else, usually a close relative, makes treatment decisions for the person. He or she is called the person’s substitute decision-maker (SDM). (Form 33t) 

3. A form that says a doctor has found a person incapable of managing his or her property. 

    Someone else handles the person’s finances while he or she is in hospital (Form 21 and/or after discharge (Form 24). 

4.  A form that says a doctor has found a person incapable of consenting to use, collection or disclosure of their personal health information (Form 33r) 

5.  Admission of an Informal patient, aged 12-15 years old (Form 27) 

6.  A form that says a doctor plans to issue or renew a community treatment order (CTO).  

     A person on a CTO must do certain things while not in a hospital like taking medication or attending appointments. (Form 49)  

If you have additional question or require information about Right Advice please contact our Intake Department at  

The PPAO does not give Legal Advice, our services are for information purposes only.