Thursday, May 21, 2015

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and Compassionate Community Care protect the right to receive medical care.

Alex Schadenberg
By Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

We won a case and we protected the rights a woman to receive medical treatment without going to trial.

Two weeks ago, I received a phone call from a woman (niece) who is the legal Power of Attorney for her Aunt. The Aunt was in the hospital.

The niece needed advise and support after a doctor placed a DNR order and the hospital refused to provide oxygen assistance for her Aunt. The doctor and the hospital did not consult the niece who is the legal Power of Attorney. 

The niece said that the doctor claimed that her Aunt (who had been considered incompetent) agreed to have treatment withdrawn even though her Aunt had clearly stated in the past that she wanted medical treatment and did not want a DNR.

The niece wanted to know how to protect the rights of her Aunt and her right to fulfill the wishes of her Aunt. 

I advised the niece to hire a competent lawyer, but the niece did not have the financial ability to do so.

What happened.

With the approval of the niece, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and Compassionate Community Care contacted the most experienced lawyer in Ontario to handle the case.

The doctor and the hospital brought the case to the Consent and Capacity Board (Board) of Ontario. 

At the pre-trial hearing there was doubt that the Aunt was competent when the doctor said that the Aunt agreed to have treatment stopped. The niece was represented by the experienced lawyer and EPC was paying for the legal costs.

Due to the upcoming Board hearing, the hospital agreed to provide treatment for the Aunt until the Board made a decision. Now that the Aunt was receiving medical treatment, she began to recover. 

At the same time Compassionate Community Care (CCC) maintained contact and support and helped the niece prepare for the Board hearing.

Yesterday, the Aunt had improved to the point where she was assessed as mentally competent. After being questioned, with lawyers present, it was determined that the Aunt wanted to receive medical treatment, that the niece was acting properly on her behalf, and the Aunt wanted her niece to continue as her Power of Attorney for Personal Care.

We won the case, we protected the right of the Aunt to receive medical treatment, and we upheld the right of the niece to make medical care decisions on behalf of the Aunt (if the Aunt becomes incompetent) without having to go to trial.

The donations that we have received, so far, are not sufficient to pay for the legal expenses. Please donate to the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

EPC sells the Life Protecting Power of Attorney for Personal Care for $25 to protect your rights. Order the Life Protecting Power of Attorney at: 1-877-439-3348 or

The Life Protecting Power of Attorney protects you from euthanasia and assisted suicide, it defines the treatment decisions that you would want, it enables you to appoint someone to be your "Power of Attorney for Personal Care" and it determines how these decisions are to be made.

The Life Protecting Power of Attorney also gives you the piece of mind that the EPC will help you if your expressed wishes are ignored or if a hospital or doctor decides to impose decisions upon you.

EPC works with CCC to offer practical advice and support when you or a loved one is faced with difficult medical decisions, or if you are concerned that a friend or a loved one is being denied basic care or is being euthanized.

Contact CCC at: 1-855-675-8749. 


Anonymous said...

This is a great example of how hospitals could do a small thing,like give oxygen. Guess what oxygen deprived patients don't think well. And the hospital knows that.DNR, is one thing, and simply providing ordinary care is another thing. The family were lucky to have EPC to help them. Good work

Marimae said...

Congratulations on a job well done by EPC. Just another reason to support you in the amazing work you do.

Wayne Caskanette said...

Great job Alex. Why aren't the hospital responsible for the lawyer fees since she obviously did want treatment and the doctors lied?