Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Court of Appeal Rules on Landmark End Of Life Case.

Press Release
For Immediate Release

Court of Appeal Rules on Landmark End Of Life Case.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition applauds the unanimous decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal to uphold a lower court decision which requires that doctors obtain consent from substitute decision-makers before unilaterally withdrawing life-support where such a decision is anticipated to result in the death of the patient.

The unanimous Court of Appeal ruled that it is necessary for doctors to raise any objections or concerns they may have about consent before the Ontario Consent and Capacity Board who has the jurisdiction to determine the issue of consent and to address any challenges to that consent made by a doctor.

This decision has profound implications for patients throughout Ontario and Canada in terms of feeling safe and secure in accessing medical services near the end of life, says Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Executive Director Alex Schadenberg, whose organization intervened in the Appeal.

A contrary decision would have effectively provided doctors with unilateral authority to withdraw life-support and end the life of a patient without any oversight, due process or procedural safeguards to patients, says Toronto lawyer Hugh Scher, who represented the EPC at the Court of Appeal.

Today’s ruling is perhaps the most significant end of life decision ever made by a Canadian court. It suggests that other provinces ought to be looking at implementing a similar regime of a board or tribunal to address such matters where they arise, according to Mark Handelman, who is a former Vice-Chair of the Consent and Capacity Board and who also served as counsel to EPC on their intervention.

Link to the decision.

For further information, please contact:

Alex Schadenberg, EPC Executive Director: 519-851-1434

Hugh Scher: 416-515-9686

Mark Handelman: 416-402-9475

1 comment:

Notions said...

Congratulations to everyone at EPC for all your hard work on the Rasouli case!