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Last rights: The dignity of a good death

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Podcast Transcript – Mark Handelman

Mark is a health care and elder law Attorney and he has also litigated more end-of-life cases than any another lawyer in Canada. He is Counsel to Whaley Estate Litigation and a part time Member of Ontario’s Human Rights Tribunal. Mark joins our project to help raise the awareness of how important it is for families to have conversations about end-of-life issues. During our podcast he shares some of his experience and insights about Advance Directives, including:

  • What is an Advance Directive?
  • Why do I need an Advance Directive for personal care?
  • What happens if I don’t have an Advance Directive?
  • Who do I choose to make my end-of-life decisions?
  • What’s the most important information to put into an Advance Directive?
  • My family does not like to talk about death and dying. How do I raise the topic?

This episode is sponsored by
Estate & Trust Services from Scotiatrust

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Mark Handelman

About Mark Handelman, B.A., LL.B., MHSc (bioethics)

Mark Handelman was called to the Ontario Bar in 1978. Until 2001, he practised law in London, Ontario, including civil litigation, criminal defence and prosecution. He was one of Ontario’s first members of the Official Guardian Child Representation Program. Mark was appointed to the Consent & Capacity Board in 1998 and became a Vice Chair and Senior Lawyer Member in 2000. He became Acting Toronto Regional Vice Chair and then Regional Vice Chair in 2001, for which he stopped practising law and moved to Toronto. He was the Board’s only Vice Chair for quality assurance and presided at over 2200 Board Hearings—including the majority of the Board’s “end of life” cases. Mark’s term on the Board expired in 2008 and he is now in the private practice of health care law, representing health practitioners, SDMs and patients and advising and teaching health care providers. He also prepares wills and Powers of Attorney, particularly for persons with limited capacity, and is frequently retained by other lawyers to assist their clients with these important documents. He is Counsel to the law firm Whaley Estate Litigation, advising on guardianship and estate litigation matters and is a Lawyer Member of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, where he mediates and adjudicates Human rights complaints.

Mark holds an MHSc in bioethics from the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics. He was a member of the corporate ethics committees of both William Osler and Humber River Hospitals and wrote the first versions of the information brochure, “A Guide to Substitute Decision-Making” for both hospitals. His articles on powers of attorney, mental health law and ethics, substitute decision-making and the end of life process have been published in various journals.

In London, Mark was twice a candidate for public office. He also wrote over 300 restaurant reviews and food articles for The London Free Press, as well as an internet wine review column. Mark still occasionally tastes wine, but now only for medicinal purposes.

Whaley Estate Litigation

We regularly advise Executors, Administrators, Trustees, Attorneys and Guardians on their fiduciary obligations and the expectations of the legislation governing their actions. Our resources include highly skilled Estate and Trust Planners, Estate Administrators, as well as Planning Counsel for the Disabled, Charitable Gifting and Tax. We advise on the prevention and resolution of litigation matters arising out of Estate and Testamentary Planning.

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Please contact Mary Bart, Chair of Caregiving Matters at mary@caregivingmatters.ca or 905-939-2931

This podcast is intended to provide general information only and is not intended to be a substitute for seeking personalized legal, financial or other advice.

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