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October 25, 2017

Becoming an UnPerson in Nova Scotia

(If you can't see the diagram, click the title to go to the blog or find it here).

This is how the new Adult Capacity and Decision-making Act appears to work.  The bill is almost 15,000 words long, so I welcome your corrections and additions.  I believe there are 2 major shortcomings:

  • The unwarranted trust in the medical profession
    • Given the profession’s long history of paternalism, especially as it relates to differences of ability, they are low on my list.  Why not lawyers?  Educators? Pastors? Nutritionists?  Scientists?  Why this act focuses on a group that has served people with disabilities so badly for so long is a mystery to me.  Imagine being a person having Down Syndrome and being assessed by a doctor who has counseled the abortion of people like you. Has the government hired Charles Dickens as the consultant on Disability?
  • The vague nature of “Capacity Assessment”.  
    • The few documents I can find, like this  or this seem trivial, inviting judgement by people with no real knowledge or grasp of facts.  There is no standard, no professional association. This act comes very close to saying “Just sign the contract, we’ll fill in the details later”

Given Nova Scotia’s own capacity for failing to protect its citizens, from Mi'kmaq people to African Nova Scotians to its continuing tolerance of indentured servitude in sheltered workshops and the huge errors it admitted in the discredited Incompetent Person’s Act, government needs to try harder.

Gus Reed

...he was abolished, an unperson.
1984 (Nineteen Eighty-Four)
Part 2, Chapter 6.

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