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Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:34 PM


Religious beliefs cannot trump right-to-live decisions, Supreme Court told

Kirk Makin
December 10, 2012

The religious beliefs of a vegetative patient on life support cannot be a determining factor in whether or not he is allowed to die, the Supreme Court of Canada was told this morning.

“Doctors must refuse a wish for inappropriate treatment,” Harry Underwood, a lawyer for several doctors caught up in a right-to-live struggle told a seven-judge panel.

“Wishes cannot override the standard of care. The result is the same whether it is a religious belief or a non-religious belief. All wishes deserve the same respect.”

The court panel began a one-day hearing Monday morning into the historic appeal involving end-of-life treatment. It is expected to release a ruling in several months.


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Reply Religious beliefs cannot trump right-to-live decisions, Supreme Court told (Original post)
rug Dec 2012 OP
cbayer Dec 2012 #1

Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:46 PM

1. Very tricky and I would not want to be the one to turn off the life support in this case.

I would offer a potential solution, though. Allow the family to take him home on life support and/or make them pay the costs, which are going to be significant.

I do think religious beliefs have sway here, as they often do in complicated hospital cases, but I don't agree that the state is obligated to cover the exorbitant costs of their beliefs in this case.

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