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Further to our article ‘Informed consent in children and adolescents’ (Paediatr Child Health 1997;2:329–33) we would like to update readers with respect to recent legislation in Saskatchewan. In September 1997, Saskatchewan proclaimed an Act Respecting Health Care Directives and Substitute Decision Makers. Section 3 of this Act states that
Any person, 16 years of age or more, who has the capacity to make a health care decision, may make a health care directive.
By implication, the factual determination of whether a minor aged 16 years or older has the sufficient capacity to make a health care decision must still be made by the health care provider(s) involved in the treatment process.
Section 4 of the Act explains that a directive takes effect when the person making the directive does not have the capacity to make a health care decision respecting a proposed treatment.
We thank the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General’s Office of Saskatchewan for bringing this recent legislation to our attention.