Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Golubchuk case sets precedent

The Golubchuk family have dropped their lawsuit against Winnipeg Grace Hospital, after their father, Samuel Golubchuk died a natural death on June 24, 2008.

Doctors at Grace Hospital had decided that it was futile to treat Golubchuk. They informed the family that they were planning to withdraw the respirator, fluids and food from their father against their wishes and the known beliefs of Samuel.

To read more about the Golubchuk case go to:

The Golubchuk family won a court injunction requiring the hospital to maintain life support until the matter could be decided by the courts.

Neil Kravetsky, the lawyer for the Golubchuk family stated that:
"the injunction set an important legal precedent even though the case didn't run its full course."

Kravetsky noted:
"In similar circumstances one can argue on the basis of this Court of Queen's Bench decision, ... other families can now point to the case to seek similar injunctions."

Commenting on the case going go to trial Kravetsky said:
"To be frank with you, that's most often where most people get to anyway. There haven't been any cases that I know of that got to trial."

Kravetsky commented on the lawsuit by saying:
"the claim is not being pursued because Golubchuk's death made the main point moot for the man's children. The family wasn't into the money. Their main concern was for their father's life."

Kravetsky noted that:
"Had it gone to the final hearing, the court would have made a determination on whether the injunction would continue indefinitely. Intrinsically that would answer who would have the final say (on who decides when to stop or continue medical care)."

Kravetsky outlined the purpose of the case:
"The point of this whole exercise from the family's point of view was two-fold. One was to save their father's life, but what, really, people missed and the media missed was not so much whether they were right or wrong, but whether we as Canadian citizens have a right to mke that decision."

Kravetsky concluded that:
"We'll be in big trouble if a final decision comes down at any time to say we don't have that right."

Link to the article:

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