Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Living and Dying in Manitoba

Recently, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities and the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities held a conference concerning the fact that in Manitoba, the College of Physicians and Surgeons have determined that doctors have the right to withdraw medical treatment without the consent of the person or the person's family.

Link to the Youtube video of the event. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qEI-yqDw2A&feature=share

The presentation features Rhonda Wiebe, Jim Derksen from the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, Dean Richert lawyer and co-chair Council of Canadians with Disabilities - Human Rights Committee, and Valerie Wolbert & Catherine Rodgers - People First Canada.

This is the same power that the physicians in Ontario are seeking in the Rasouli case.

In the Rasouli case, the family sought a court injunction to prevent doctors from withdrawing the ventilator from Mr. Rasouli. Justice Himel decided that the family did not need a court injunction because consent was necessary before the ventilator could be withdrawn, and if the doctors could not attain consent they could bring the case to the Consent and Capacity Board in Ontario.

In Manitoba, the Golubchuk family sought an injunction to prevent doctors from withdrawing the ventilator from Mr. Golubchuk. Once again, the physicians stated that they had the right to decide to withdraw treatment, without the consent of the family.

These decisions are based on the values of the physician, who would have the sole right to decide whether or not the treatment or the patient's life is futile.

This is a very important issue for people with disabilities and other people who's lives are deemed to lack "quality of life." by the physicians.

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