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DriveAble Report Used to Strip Senior of Rights

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The following was excerpted from a lengthy complaint which had been made to the Alberta Law Society concerning the abuse of Martha Matich, February 25, 2000, prepared by the Elder Advocates of Alberta Society.

See Also: Martha Matich: Dependant Adults Act Abuse

REVIEW OF Northern Alberta Regional Geriatric (NARG) Driving Program Report, DriveAble, dated January 16, 1996
(Exhibit “B” of the Affidavit of Carolina Merlin April 29, 1996 filed in court May 1, 1996)

January 16, 1996, Martha Matich was told to attend at the Northern Alberta Regional Geriatric Program (NARG) for the purpose of a driving test. (4 Page Report Attached)

She had originally been scheduled for the test, December 4, 1995, but due to -30, extreme cold weather, the test was cancelled until January 16, 1996. Concerning this matter:

DriveAble produced a Report, it was unsigned. At the court, the unsigned driving assessment is also referred to as the “Dr. Ivan Kiss Report” or the “Kiss Report”.

Mr. Ihor Broda refers to this Report in the Proceedings of the Application for Trusteeship and Guardianship by Carolina and Sergio Merlin, P. 8, L.14-22. He quotes paragraph 2 & 3 of the NARGE Driving Program Report. He commences: “Unfortunately, there is ample evidence […] is justifiable on the basis of our test results.”

We quote this to identify, that there is in fact no question but that Mr. Broda is referring to the 4 page Driving Assessment Report of January 16,1996, though he refers to it as the Dr. Ivan Kiss Report.

This filed court document, contains no signature. It is disturbing that a professional document, that has been used to declare a person incompetent is unsigned.

A professional person identifies herself/himself by signature. If in fact Dr. Ivan Kiss was associated with this matter, why is he not identified by signature?

On January 16, 1996, we, the Elder Advocates of Alberta, discussed the said Driving Program Report (DriveAble Report) with Barbara Carstensen RN of NARG on March 10, 1999 (Ph. 780 – 433 1499. Barbara Carstensen identified the Report as a DriveAble Report.

Ms. Carstensen informed us that their driving assessment, is customarily an unsigned report.

The Driving Program Report, indicates that the cognitive assessment was carried out by Occupational Therapy, not by Dr. Ivan Kiss. (Page 2) (Tab 5)

On Page 1, Paragraph 2 of the Driving Report Assessment, we find the following statement: “There were reports of depression, anxiety, progressive memory difficulties and some functional decline”.

There were indeed reports (Paragraph 2) from a person who is obviously not a clinical diagnostician, namely Mrs Carolina Merlin as stated in her cross-examination on Affidavit (Tab #17)

In fact, without the knowledge of Martha Matich, Caroline Merlin attended at NARG, identifying herself as “Martha’s niece”, and offered information regarding Martha’s alleged mental decline. The fact that Carolina Merlin offered information is documented in the Examinations on Affidavit of Carolina Merlin dated June 7, 1996 Page 14, L.22-27, Page 15, L.1-13. Carolina Merlin offered information to Dr. Kae White. (Tab # 17)

Further to the above statement, “There were reports of depression” It would seem reasonable that a professional psychologist would measure or indicate the level of depression, rather than include a statement such as, “there were reports.”

This examination, was used to deprive an elderly person of rights, assets and estate.

The Driving Program Report Assessment, P. 1, states that Martha Matich: “…was referred for neuropsychological testing to aid in the determination of the nature and extent of cognitive difficulties. Areas of concern included the possible need for guardianship and trusteeship and ongoing management of this patient’s care.”

Who referred her? The professional person or the referrer, is not identified on the Report by name.

However, Mr. Broda stated before the court, that it was: 1) “Carolina Merlin in consultation with Dorothy Brosseau”

In the Affidavit of Carolina Merlin, it was identified as 2) “the result of the concerns of the Department of Motor Vehicles”.

In the “Written Argument to Justice Sanderman by Carolina Merlin”, it was 3) “due to her age.” 4) In some documents there is the inference that it was the concern of Dr. Lord for Martha Matich, that he referred her to NARG.

Martha believed this to be a driving examination and nothing else. As stated by Martha, in the Cross Examinations on Affidavit of Martha Matich on June 13, 1996, P.41, L. 15-21.

Mr. Broda inquired of her: “Do you remember then a while back, a few weeks, a month, five, four months ever attending at the General hospital and speaking to some doctors & being examined on whether you were able to drive?” (Obviously, even Mr. Broda considered it a driving test.)

Martha replied, “Yes I remember, yes.”

Broda said, “Do you remember who saw you there?””

To which she replied, “I don’t remember the person’s name, but it was about driving my car.”

Clearly, Martha had not been informed that it was anything but a driving test, and believed that it was a driving test.

Professionals who carry out competency assessments, must have valid consent and understand various forms of consent: implied, voluntary and informed. No one obtained the consent of Martha Matich.

It is not apparent that at any time, Martha Matich considered the attendance at NARG, anything other than a driving test.

When carrying out a competency assessment and surrogate decision making process, the failure to obtain a valid form of consent is indeed an ethical failure and subject to challenge. Please note the Preamble of the Competency Assessment and Surrogate Decision Making. (Tab # 18)

In the Cross Examinations on Affidavit of Carolina Merlin dated June 7, 1996,

Page 42, L. 25-27

Mr. Bridges, “I would like you to just help me understand which two reports are being relied upon?”

Mr. Broda: “Dr. Lord’s and Dr. Kiss”.

Page 43, L. 21-27

Mr. Bridges: “And those are the only two reports that form the basis for the decision to prepare the CAVEAT, which we have seen marked as Exhibit D-4; is that correct?”

Carolina Merlin: “Yes”.

Mr. Broda: “We are not in possession of any other reports. If we were, we would disclose them”.

In the same Cross Examinations on Affidavit of Carolina Merlin dated June 7, 1996:

Page 43, L. 17-20,

Mr. Broda states: “The other Report that is being relied upon, is an assessment dated January 16, 1996 which is attached as exhibit B to your Affidavit.”

This again refers to the Driving Program Report (DriveAble Report)

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