Hospital staff not acting as agents of police

Criminal Law - Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Unreasonable Search and Seizure [S. 8]

Accused was arrested for impaired driving following head-on collision. At hospital, five or six vials of accused’s blood were taken in accordance with order from doctor and hospital procedure for trauma victims. About 10 days after accident, police seized some of vials of accused’s blood at hospital pursuant to warrant. Trial judge dismissed accused’s application to exclude evidence based on breach of his rights under s. 8 of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and convicted accused. Accused appealed. Appeal dismissed. Trial judge’s findings that hospital staff worked independently of police, police did not direct nursing staff to draw blood, accused consented to treatment, staff did not draw more blood than necessary for medical purposes, complied with hospital protocols and were not acting as agents of police were not based on misapprehension of evidence. Accused had not demonstrated trial judge made any palpable or overriding error in her factual findings.

R. v. Canavan (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 10675, 2019 ONCA 567, David Brown J.A., B.W. Miller J.A., and G.T. Trotter J.A. (Ont. C.A.); affirmed (2018), 2018 CarswellOnt 21759, 2018 ONSC 4171, Tzimas J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

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