Guardians, Powers of Attorney and Representation Agreements PDF Print E-mail


Privacy laws allow others to exercise the individual's rights in certain situations.  


Parents and others who are guardians of a child can exercise the child's rights only if the minor is incapable of exercising their rights on their own behalf.  Depending on the circumstances, children can be capable at a fairly young age.   The Canadian Bar Association provides more information about children's rights.      

For information about a child's right to privacy in their health records, see our page on Confidentiality-Children and Teenagers which explains how children and teenagers have a right to keep their health records private, even from their parents.  

Acting on Behalf of Other Adults

A committee under the Patients Property Act, and attorney under an enduring power of attorney, a litigation guardian and a representative under the Representation Agreements Act can all exercise the rights of the individual, provided the documents which grant them authority allow them to do so.   

Expect that before the organization or public body is willing to take your instructions they will ask to see the documents to determine if the documents actually give you the power to exercise the rights.  

For a lot of useful information about these agreements, you can contact the Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre & Registry.  

The Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia has detailed information on powers of attorney, representation agreements and court orders appointing a committee to look after the affairs of a person who is mentally incapable. 

Deceased Persons

You don't lose your right to privacy when you die. So only the personal representative at the time of the individual's death or the nearest relative may exercise the individual's rights.  Depending on the circumstances, the personal representative or nearest relative may be asked to establish that they are seeking to exercise the deceased person's rights on behalf of the deceased or in the interest of the deceased, and no on their own behalf or in their own interest.  

If you are Unsatisfied with the Response of the Organization/Public Body

If you are unsatisfied with the response of an organization or public body when you seek to exercise the privacy rights of someone on their behalf, first contact the privacy officer of the organization.  If you are  still unsatisfied, go to the website of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of BC and click on the "contact us" link at the bottom. www.ww