Sunday, August 12, 2007
Filial responsibility laws and issue in Canada, Australia; more references
The Canadian Journal of Family Law, Vol. 17, No. 2, here: has an article by Christa Bracci, “The Ties that Bind: Ontario’s Filial Responsibility Act.” Link is here. Despite the Canadian single payer system for ordinary medical care, custodial nursing home care could fall on the families of the elderly, a topic not mentioned in Michael Moore’s recent film “Sicko.” The article here is ambiguous, and it appears that in Canada, as in the US, enforcement is difficult.
A Journal of Applied Psychology article back in 1997 discusses filial responsibility in Australia Filial Responsibility and the Care of the Aged, Michael Collingridge &
Seumas Miller, here. (requires purchase).
A search ("filial responsibility laws") finds a lot of other activity. The EverydaySimplicity blog maintains that adult kids are being sued for their parents’ care: link
Although it’s not clear factually that this is really happening much yet.
And another source discusses "filial responsibilty" in a more conceptual fashion, assuming that physical presence for caregiving is an ethical responsibility that would encourage adult children to become more proactive in planning for their parents' care well in advance of other decisions.
And this article from Massachusetts Law Updates, while discussing the increase in the lookback period, goes on to discuss Elderlaw’s concerns that adult children will be on the hook anyway.
Generally the public reaction to this issue on message boards is one of disbelief and anger. It claims that this will hit the "sandwich" generation of the middle class, and that sounds like a reasonable assessment.
Update: Oct. 30, 2009
See "Bill on International Issues" (Blogger Profile), Oct 30, 2009, for discussion of filial responsibility laws in Singapore (the "Maintenance of Parents Act").