Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Father of 27-year-old autistic woman appeals court ruling in euthanasia decision.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director 
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The father of a 27-year-old autistic woman who has been approved for euthanasia, has appealed the decision.

Meghan Grant reported for CBC News on March 25, 2024 that a Calgary judge ruled that a 27-year-old Calgary Autistic woman can go ahead with a MAID death despite her father's concerns. There is a publication ban on the names of the participants. The judge did order a 30 day stay to give the father an opportunity to appeal the decision.

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

Grant reported that:

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.

On April 2, 2024, Kevin Martin reported for the Calgary Herald that the father of the 27-year-old Autistic woman appealed the decision to the Alberta Court of Appeal. Martin reported:

The judicial ruling that lifted an injunction blocking the assisted suicide of a Calgary woman has been appealed by her father.

Lawyers Sarah Miller and Emily Amirkhari filed two separate notices in the Alberta Court of Appeal on Tuesday appealing rulings by Justice Colin Feasby of applications made by their client, who can only be identified by the initials W.V.
Justice Feasby ruled on March 25 2024 that the temporary injunction preventing M.V. (daughter) from dying by euthanasia was to be lifted. The lawyers for W.V. (father) filed two appeals. The first appeal is based on an alleged error in law by Justice Feasby based on the unwillingness of the daughter to answer questions in court. The second appeal is asking the Alberta Court of Appeal to maintain the temporary injunction while the court proceedings take place.

Martin reported:

The father wants to know how his daughter, who has autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), qualifies for the life-ending procedure, which has been approved by two doctors.

Among the errors the lawyers say Feasby made in his ruling was finding the father does not have a private interest to seek a judicial review.

“The pain of losing a child, even an adult child, is not something that any parent should experience,” Feasby said in his written decision.

“(The parents) have devoted their lives to raising M.V. from birth and have continued to support her since she has come of age.

“They will understandably be devastated by her death,” he said.

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

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition will seek to intervene in the appeal.


Shawna said...

Glad to hear that you will be seeking to be an intervenor in this critical case.

Eric Anthony said...

"... the father does not have a private interest to seek a judicial review." Of course not. The goal is to break down the family; therefore parents have no say in their child's upbringing, education or death. Welcome to Canada's brave new world.

Voice of Gone Ballistic said...

The only way that the euthanasia not to go ahead is for the daughter to change her mind.
How can we try to influence her if no one can access her. At this point I doubt that her father can even talk to her. I can hear the health authority say: Now that you have made up your mind would you prefer that your father not talk to you again. I am sure that the health authority will do an affidavit saying any contact with the daughter would distress the daughter too much and it is best that a no contact order be issued.

Alex Schadenberg said...

The daughter still lives in the family home with both of her parents.
You may be right that a change of heart is what is needed.

Anonymous said...

It must be very stressful for the family to all be in the same house.

Lorna said...

Praying for a change of heart, that the daughter will choose life.

Anonymous said...

I work with families who have children with disabilities (mostly autism). This is very disturbing, especially since it's setting a precedence, and may result in a cascade of similar battles between family members, the health authority, and the courts. All because some paid professionals and authority figures are all too happy to take advantage of a person's desperate mindset to extinguish lives. A fine way to reduce the Dickensian "surplus polulation" rather than help those in need of healthcare, supports and basic human kindness!

Joe Pham said...

Without knowing the full details of this case, I do find it worrisome. This is simply because it is opening up qualifications for MAID. It is conceivable that one day, a young woman is devastated from a broken relationship that she wants MAID. As in all things, there must be boundaries, checks and balances, without which, society would go off the rails.

Gemma said...

I just prayed the Three Very Beautiful Prayers for both MV and the Dutch lady with autism. I have the Prolife Contemplative Network, and we have been praying for these ladies.

Anonymous said...

How. Sad that such an evil event such as euthanasia is even considered in Canada .Our fore fathers fought for life and we excuse ourselves and give it another name instead of murder .It is my prayer that it will be removed and given the name that it is murder and we as Canadians will fight for life for health and healing and lift each other up rather than encouraging someone to take their life or have someone else end it for them.If you have breath there is hope and His name is a Jesus and He is the Son of God and He loves you He has a good plan and He is as close as a Prayer choose life choose Jesus and your life will take on new meaning praying that you will not die but live and glorify God blessings Marly