Chen – Tax Court of Canada finds that a protective procedure allegedly carried out on the oral advice of the presiding physician did not qualify as prescribed by a medical practitioner

The taxpayer had stem cells harvested from the umbilical cord when she was delivered of her second son. The harvesting occurred on the alleged verbal advice of the obstetrician that this was advisable due to the father’s Type 1 diabetes. Bocock J found that the taxpayer would have been entitled to a medical expense tax credit under of s. 118.2(2)(o) but for her failure to establish that this procedure occurred as prescribed by a medical practitioner.

No clinical notes were produced of the obstetrician’s recommendation, and all the taxpayer could show was a very brief letter prepared by her family doctor 17 months after the delivery of her child that noted that the stem cells were being stored for future use, and stated “All patients are advised to do this, if possible, from birth." Bocock J stated that this letter was merely “descriptive rather than directive.”

Neal Armstrong. Summary of Chen v. The Queen, 2019 TCC 192 under s. 118.2(2)(o).