Committeeship Criteria

Committeeship CriteriaThe criteria to be considered when appointing a committee under the Patients Property Act was stated in Re Stewart 2014 BCSC 2321:

The application for an appointment invokes the parens patriae jurisdiction of the court and is governed by an assessment of who will serve the patient’s best interest.

28      Section 18 of the Patients Property Act states that:

A committee must exercise the committee’s powers for the benefit of the patient and the patient’s family, having regard to the nature and value of the property of the patient and the circumstances and needs of the patient and the patient’s family.

29      As has been observed in other cases, the Act does not prescribe criteria for the selection of an appropriate committee. However, cases have identified various considerations; see for example: Vranic, Re, 2007 BCSC 1949 (B.C. S.C. [In Chambers]); Bowman, Re, 2009 BCSC 523 (B.C. S.C. [In Chambers]); Palamarek, Re, 2011 BCSC 563 (B.C. S.C.); Matthews, Re, 2013 BCSC 1045 (B.C. S.C.); and Sangha, Re, 2013 BCSC 1965 (B.C. S.C.).


Committeeship Criteria

(a) whether the appointment reflects the patient’s wishes, obviously when he or she was capable of forming such a wish;

(b) whether immediate family members are in agreement with the appointment;

(c) whether there is any conflict between family members or between the family and the patient, and whether the proposed committee would be likely to consult with immediate family members about the appropriate care of the patient;

(d) the level of previous involvement of the proposed committee with the patient, usually family members are preferred;

(e) the level of understanding of the proposed committee with the patient’s current situation, and will that person be able to cope with future changes of the patient;

(f) whether the proposed committee will provide love and support to the patient;

(g) whether the proposed committee is the best person to deal with the financial affairs and ensure the income and estate are used for the patient’s benefit;

(h) whether a proposed committee has breached a fiduciary duty owed to the patient, or engaged in activity which diminishes confidence in that person’s abilities to properly handle the patient’s affairs;

(i) who is best to advocate for the patient’s medical needs;

(j) whether the proposed committee has an appropriate plan of care and management for the patient and his or her affairs and is best able to carry it out; and

(k) whether a division of responsibilities such as between the patient’s estate and the patient’s person to different persons would serve the best interests of the patient, or would such a division be less than optimal for the patient.


30      The above listing is of course non-exhaustive or in any particular order. The inquiry is fact specific and a particular factor may or may not be applicable and may attract different weight depending on the circumstances of a case.

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