Eldridge v British Columbia (AG)

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Eldridge v British Columbia (AG)
Supreme Court of Canada
Hearing: April 24, 1997
Judgment: October 9, 1997
Full case name Robin Susan Eldridge, John Henry Warren and Linda Jane Warren v. The Attorney General of British Columbia and the Medical Services Commission
Citations [1997] 3 S.C.R. 624
Docket No. 24896
Ruling Eldridge appeal allowed
Court Membership
Chief Justice: Antonio Lamer
Puisne Justices: Gérard La Forest, Claire L'Heureux-Dubé, John Sopinka, Charles Gonthier, Peter Cory, Beverley McLachlin, Frank Iacobucci, John C. Major
Reasons given
Unanimous reasons by La Forest J.

Eldridge v British Columbia (AG) [1997] 3 S.C.R. 624, is a leading decision by the Supreme Court of Canada that expanded the application of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms under section 32 of the Charter.

Each of the appellants in this case was born deaf; their preferred means of communication was ASL, a local sign language. They contended that the absence of interpreters impaired their ability to communicate with their doctors and other health care providers, and thus increased the risk of misdiagnosis and ineffective treatment. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that "sign language" interpreters must be provided in the delivery of medical services where doing so is necessary to ensure effective communication.

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