Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Judge rules that a 27-year-old autistic woman in Calgary can die by euthanasia

Her father claims that she is otherwise healthy and does not qualify to be killed under the law.
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

CBC News reporter, Meghan Grant published an article yesterday explaining that a Calgary judge has ruled that a 27-year-old can go ahead with MAID death despite her father's concerns. There is a publication ban on the names of the participants.

This case is very close to me since I have an autistic son.

The judge removed the temporary injunction on January 31, 2024 that prevented the 27-year-old autistic woman in Calgary who lives with her parents. Grant reports:

While Justice Colin Feasby acknowledged the "profound grief" that W.V. would suffer with the death of his child, he ruled the loss of M.V.'s autonomy was more important.

"M.V.'s dignity and right to self-determination outweighs the important matters raised by W.V. and the harm that he will suffer in losing M.V.," wrote Feasby in his 34-page written decision issued Monday.

"Though I find that W.V. has raised serious issues, I conclude that M.V.'s autonomy and dignity interests outweigh competing considerations."

Justice Feasby decided that an interim injunction would be held for another 30 days to provide time for a possible appeal. Grant reported:

Feasby's decision sets aside an interim injunction the father was granted the day before M.V.'s assisted death was set to take place in the family's home.

But the judge also issued a 30-day stay of his decision so that W.V. can take the case to the Alberta Court of Appeal, which means the interim injunction will remain in place for the next month.

The daughter did not bring forth evidence proving that her health condition would qualify her for euthanasia since her defence was based on that it is none of her father's business.

The father brought evidence to the court to prove that the daughter is generally healthy. Grant reported.

But W.V. believes his daughter "is vulnerable and is not competent to make the decision to take her own life," according to Feasby's summary of the father's position. 

"He says that she is generally healthy and believes that her physical symptoms, to the extent that she has any, result from undiagnosed psychological conditions."

Her only known diagnoses described in court earlier this month are autism and ADHD.

The daughter had been approved for euthanasia by one doctor and turned down by another doctor. The father took issue with the role of the Alberta Health Service in finding the second doctor to approve the death. Grant reports:

Her father took issue with the third doctor who signed off on M.V.'s MAID approval "because he was not independent or objective."

At the March 11 hearing, Sarah Miller, counsel for the father, called the situation "a novel issue for Alberta" because the province operates a system where there is no appeal process and no means of reviewing a person's MAID approval.

Justice Feasby did order an assessment of the Alberta Health Service's role. Grant reports:

While Feasby found the "court cannot review a MAID applicant's decision-making or the clinical judgment of the doctors and nurse practitioners," he did rule the actions of the MAID navigator — a person who works for AHS and helps co-ordinate a patient's eligibility assessment — can be examined. 

Feasby ruled the courts can review whether the AHS MAID navigator followed its own policy. 

"There can be no doubt that it is a serious issue," wrote Feasby. "The AHS MAID policy is part of the legal framework governing medical assistance in dying and, as such, is a matter of life and death."

Nonetheless, Feasby only granted a 30 day continuance of the injunction based on a possible appeal, he did not extend the injunction until the role of the Alberta Health Service is examined.

Canada's euthanasia law was not designed to protect vulnerable people. The law is designed to protect the doctors who are willing to kill.


Joan Tracey said...

We never know when God will heal us or take us home, that should be left in Gods hands not ours. And mean while, I almost died 4 or 5 times but, through it I was in the hospital and I was able to help others even through my pain, God used me to talk to them about Jesus and pray for them from my hospital bed .nurses and other people in the next beds.
Doctor's are here to save not to kill. And Doctors should not be made to do something like
We never know when God will use us or like me God saved me and I'am so glad he did, my doctor even told e he never thought that I would come through so many times .

Charlene said...

Your last paragraph. So true. This is sad.

Anonymous said...

If she has ADHD them by law she can't receive MAiD. ADHD is a mental illness. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be a lifelong condition. You might start to experience symptoms in childhood and find that they continue into your teenage years and as an adult.

We know that if you have ADHD you’re more likely to experience a mental health problem. There’s evidence that anxiety, depression, conduct disorder (persistent patterns of antisocial, aggressive or defiant behaviour), substance abuse, and sleep problems are all more common with people who have ADHD. https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/adhd-and-mental-health/

Joy Seguin said...

I am speechless! Not very proud of being a Canadian at the moment.

Alex Schadenberg said...

I only published the comment about ADHD because it is not accurate.
ADHD may be considered a mental health problem but in this case the 27 year old autistic woman claims that she is suffering physical pain. The problem with physical suffering is that it is impossible to prove that she is not experiencing physical suffering. It is completely subjective.

Yves de Menten de Horne said...

I am Belgian, and disagree with euthanasia, which is, in my opinion, a murder, just like abortion.I agree with the father. If I was in his shoes, I'd fight, with all my might, for life.
And I strongly disagree with the daughter ("mind his own business") : a father has the right and duty to avoid his daughter being killed.

Mich said...

Canada is going the same route Nazi Germany did - killing the weak and vulnerable "patients". I wonder if the parents can have her move out, so the intentional killing of their daughter would not happen in their own home. That might encourage the daughter to reconsider.

Mich said...

Anonymous, ADHD is not a mental illness. It is neurodevelopmental disorder.

Janice said...

The fact that one doctor did not approve her, raises a very good point. These cases should require a unanimous decision, whereby all doctors' independent assessments and decisions should have to be the same. If one doctor objects, the case should not be approved.

Anonymous said...

I have Asperger, deafblind and mental health issues which cause yo-yo type dieting and psychological pain among other things. During my teens I attempted suicide several times but I am very glad I failed. Around her age I was recovering from the Anorexia I had in my mid twenties but I did consider suicide because a lady I was in love with didn’t feel the same way. It’s a stupid reason for wanting to die so I am glad I didn’t go through with it. It is a good thing I don’t live in canada and I sure hope England never permits suicide. Even though I have more than my share of problems I am glad to be alive.