NSCL Not So Common Law
The Legal Duty to Provide Necessaries of Life
Everyone has a legal duty as a parent, guardian, or head of a family to provide necessaries of life to a child in their care. The legal duty to provide necessaries of life also extends to a person’s spouse, or to an adult person in their care and charge where that adult person is unable to provide herself with necessaries of life and is unable, by reason of age, illness, mental disorder or other cause, to withdraw himself from that charge.
Recent controversial cases in Alberta on parents’ responsibility to provide medical care to their children illustrate the nature and extent of the legal duty to provide necessaries of life and are applicable to situations involving children, vulnerable persons, dependent adults and elder abuse.