On Nov. 19, Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Jill Hamilton upheld an earlier decision dismissing murder charges in a suspected euthanasia case.
In February, Nova Scotia Provincial Court Judge Hughes Randall granted a discharge to Dr. Nancy Morrison, who is alleged to have killed patient Paul Mills last year at the Queen Elizabeth Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. Judge Randall ruled that there was not enough evidence to warrant prosecution.
According to the Nov. 30 issue of Maclean’s magazine, Justice Hamilton upheld Judge Randall’s decision even though “she said there might be enough evidence for a conviction.”
A Campaign Life Coalition press release called upon the Crown to appeal Judge Hamilton’s decision. It also said the decision “places too much power in the hands of physicians, and sets a dangerous legal precedent.”
Herm Wills, president of CLC Nova Scotia, told The Interim the decision may cause vulnerable people to fear going into hospital.
“Hospitals are scary enough places anyway. Now, you go to the hospital and don’t know if you will be able to go home again.”
The issue, according to Mr. Wills, is not euthanasia, but murder.
“If she killed the patient with a gun instead of a syringe, would the decision be different?
“We’re headed to what they have in The Netherlands: medicalized killing with immunity.”
The Crown has not decided whether it will appeal the latest ruling. Staff in the Crown prosecutor’s office refused to speak with The Interim. Morrison still faces an allegation of professional misconduct before the Nova Scotia College of Physicians and Surgeons.