Wednesday, June 08, 2005

My favourite constitutional scholar, Patrick Monahan (Dean of Osgoode Hall) agrees that restricting private care is unconstitutional when the public system is flawed. He wrote this(pdf) interesting and informative article. Here is an exerpt

Where governments institute measures that delay or impede access to medically necessary services and where that delay materially increases medical risks or otherwise results in adverse health consequences, the violation of security of the person is clear.This conclusion is consistent with the underlying approach of Chief Justice Dickson’s 1988 decision in Morgentaler, which emphasized that the state’s impeding access to timely abortion services violated section 7. Indeed, he specifically noted that the fact that patients may be able to access services in another jurisdiction, such as the United States, does not negate or eliminate the violation of security of the person. In effect, what Justice Dickson decided is that Canadians have a right to expect that medically necessary services are available in Canada.

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