Mitigation, Rehabilitation and Doctors’ Input Into Future Care Costs and Life Care Plans


This paper was prepared for and presented to the Canadian Defence Lawyers’ conference “Law for Doctors/Medicine for Lawyers”, held in Vancouver in March, 2013. The paper discusses the concept of mitigation and outlines who bears the legal onus, the test, and the standard. Types of doctor’s advice are explored:

  • Return to work… or not?
  • Surgery
  • Exercise/Physiotherapy
  • Take your meds!
  • Lose weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Speech therapy

Next, rehabilitation is covered: the legal and medical definitions, the role of medical evidence in rehabilitating a loss of earning capacity and Part 7 claims.

Lastly, various considerations regarding doctor’s input into future care and life plans are discussed: the purpose of the award, the legal test (including “medically justified”, “reasonable”, and “care item will actually be used”), the necessity of expert evidence, and rejected future cost of care items.