If the person refuses to go to hospital
Application to the Court of Québec
If the person refuses to go to hospital, you must submit a written application to the Court of Québec sitting in the judicial district where the person resides in order to have the person undergo a psychiatric evaluation. In Montréal, Laval and Québec, the application may be submitted to the municipal court in an emergency.
The judge must, if possible, hear the person who is to undergo the examination, except when the judge considers that it would clearly be useless, for example when the application is submitted with a report, signed by a doctor, confirming the need for the person to undergo a psychiatric examination.
Unless the judge grants an exemption, the application must be served1 on the person concerned by a bailiff, who hands a copy of the application directly to the person. The application must also be served on a reasonable person of the family of the person concerned, on a friend of the person concerned, or on the person having custody; in other cases, the application must be served on the Curateur public.
An application to the court is only necessary if the person concerned refuses to see a doctor. You must make sure that the person in question really does not want to go to hospital. All too often, applications are filed needlessly because no-one took the time to ask the person whether he or she wanted to go to a hospital for treatment.
Anyone applying to the court for the hospitalization of a person with a mental disorder must prove that the person in question has been informed of the application.
When legal proceedings are undertaken, it is possible to request assistance from a lawyer. Anyone eligible may apply for legal aid for this purpose; if the person requiring hospitalization is eligible for legal aid , the person submitting the application to the court is also deemed to be eligible.
If necessary, call the police!
If you are unable to convince the person to go to hospital, you can ask for help to force compliance, for example from the police. In this case, you must contact either the Sûreté du Québec, your municipal police department or a Criminal and Penal Prosecuting Attorney at the courthouse in the judicial district where the person resides. They will determine the best way to proceed in the circumstances.
If the person’s behaviour seems to make it likely that he or she will damage property, injure someone else or commit an offence under Criminal Code, or if the person makes death threats, the police may proceed with an arrest. The case will then be handled in keeping with the usual procedure for an offence under the Criminal Code: arrest without a warrant, summons, appearance before a judge, and court order for a mental assessment.
Under the powers vested in them by law, police officers who have serious grounds to believe that the mental state of an individual presents a grave and immediate danger can also take the person to hospital, even unwillingly, if so requested by a relative or social worker.