Vancouver premiere of Hope Is Not A Plan
Hope Is Not A Plan premieres in Vancouver. This documentary exposes barriers to justice unique to people with disabilities and features segments of an interview with BC lawyer Don Renaud. Below is an excerpt from Renaud’s interview.
It’s pretty much the state of the law in British Columbia that children and people with significant disabilities and the elderly can be killed through negligence and there’s no civil recourse. There are a lot of examples. They come up on a regular basis in the newspapers of individuals that are killed because of the wrongful actions of another and there’s no action for damages as a consequence. Those involve, as I said, children, the elderly and people with disabilities.
One example that comes immediately to mind occurred in a care home in the Fraser Valley in the last year. It was a lady who was ventilator-dependent, who had been sitting by the window enjoying the nice sunny day during the afternoon and who was put to bed later that evening with the same ventilator. The difficulty is that the ventilator was battery-charged. It did not have a power source that was guaranteed and she simply ran out of batteries over the course of the night because the attendant failed to ensure that the ventilator was switched over and that there was a reliable power source over the course of the night.
So, that was a clear act of negligence on the part of the staff at the nursing home, but that was just something that gets reported in the newspaper and there’s no action for damages, and we hear of that but I can’t imagine how many other times these things take place, and they take place fairly often, because that poor lady’s life had no value under the eyes of the law.
Under the eyes of the law, if an action had been commenced for damages, well she could have ended up with a verdict but no damages would have been awarded because there’s no meaningful wrongful death legislation in this province. So, there was no action for damages and that institution can carry on making mistakes like that with impunity.