This morning in a 5-2 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the right of a patient’s family to make medical decisions, saying that doctor’s can’t end life support without consent. The National Post has the story. The Interim‘s coverage of the Rasouli case can be accessed here and Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition has an extensive archive of Rasouli coverage.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, an intervenor in the case, is pleased with the decision:
EPC applauds the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada who upheld the unanimous decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal requiring that doctors obtain consent from patients or substitute decision-makers before withdrawing life-sustaining treatment where such a decision is anticipated to result in the death of the patient …
The Supreme Court of Canada maintained that doctors must raise any objections or concerns they may have about consent to treatment before the Consent and Capacity Board who have the jurisdiction to address any challenges to that consent made by a doctor.
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada is also happy with the outcome:
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) is pleased with the decision released this morning by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Cuthbertson v.Rasouli case. The decision affirms the place of patient consent and personal beliefs in life-support decisions. It also confirms that physicians are required to obtain consent from a patient, or their substitute decision-maker if they are incapacitated, before withdrawing life support.
“We are pleased that the Supreme Court of Canada has again reinforced the importance of respecting religious beliefs in Canadian society,” says EFC President Bruce J. Clemenger. “The court has made it clear those beliefs must not be undervalued in the making of ethical, potential end-of-life decisions. Treating people with dignity must include respecting the foundational wishes and beliefs of people like Mr. Rasouli and his family, and today the Supreme Court has clearly affirmed this.”