Mental Health Lawyers
Helping family caregivers navigate
the health system
When a loved one refuses treatment, and their psychiatrist refuses to speak to you, it can feel like things are falling apart.

Consent & Capacity / Mental Health Law

We know that having a loved one with a mental illness, dementia or brain injury is difficult for the entire family. It can completely change the family dynamic and can make life very stressful at times.

Over months and years there are inevitably ups and downs. Unfortunately, the downs often come in the form of a major and potentially life-threatening crisis.

You are NOT alone.

We wish we could snap our fingers and make your loved one well. We can't. But there are some things we can do to make life a little easier for you.


Family members regularly interact with the health care system as substitute-decision makers, guardians, attorneys (under a Power of Attorney), witnesses, advocates and caregivers. We provide advice in the following types of situations:

  • A Consent and Capacity Board hearing is coming up  and the family wants to understand the process and opportunities for involvement
  • Parents disagree about health care decisions for their child - and don't know what the law requires
  • Parents feel pressured by the health care team to make a particular decision for their child - and want to know whether to and how to disagree with the experts (and the consequences)
  • Adult children disagree about the best type of care for a parent
  • A substitute decision-maker is required to follow a Power of Attorney but does not feel it reflects what the patient would have wanted in light of the circumstances
  • A person finds out he or she is a substitute decision-maker or Power of Attorney but does not understand his or her legal obligations
  • A person wants to become a patient’s substitute decision-maker
  • A person wants her family member to obtain treatment for mental health issues but he refuses to seek help
  • A parent finds out a child was involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric facility, and needs assistance understanding the applicable laws
  • A person receives notice that he is going to be called as a witness at a Consent and Capacity Board hearing and wants legal advice
  • A health care professional does not want to follow a parent’s decision about his child’s treatment because the professional does not believe the decision is in the child’s best interests
  • An elderly person is found to be incapable with respect to making decisions about admission to long-term care and, to the family’s surprise, challenges this finding at a tribunal
  • There is disagreement about what care or treatment a person in a persistent vegetative state would want
  • Family members disagree about end of life care of a loved one (such as whether to remove a feeding tube)
  • Family or patient seeks to transfer from one psychiatric facility to another

We provide legal opinions on all matters involving consent and capacity in Ontario. We draft correspondence and negotiate on your behalf. Where appropriate, we provide “behind the scenes” advice to ensure the involvement of a lawyer does not interfere with important relationships. We advocate on your behalf at the Consent and Capacity Board, a tribunal dedicated to hearing matters relating to consent and capacity issues. Depending on the situation, we can assist you to become your loved one’s substitute decision-maker or guardian.

Most importantly, we listen to your concerns. We ensure that you understand the legal framework and make the decision that is the best one for you in the circumstances.

Our Online DIY Mental Health Law Courses

Just talk to us

It’s easier than you think...

I’m Lisa Feldstein.

Lisa Feldstein is a health lawyer who has helped hundreds of families navigate the challenges of having a family member with a serious mental illness. From explaining the legal rights of the family, helping you make sense of all the forms, or getting a sick relative into the hospital when they keep getting turned away before the physicians have heard the full story, we know what you're going through - and we can help.
Lisa has been widely published and interviewed in the media, including in the Canadian Journal of Family Law, CTV, and the National Post.The feedback Lisa most loves hearing from clients is that she made the process feel simple.

Want more information? Ask away!

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