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Court Decision

Court Decision

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Court of Appeal for Ontario document...
Court of Appeal for Ontario document...

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Published by: The London Free Press on Jun 29, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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CITATION:Rasouliv.SunnybrookHealthSciencesCentre,2011ONCA482DATE:20110629DOCKET:C53442
COURTOFAPPEALFORONTARIO
Doherty,MoldaverandSimmonsJJ.A.BETWEENHassanRasouli,byhislitigationguardianandsubstitutedecisionmaker,ParichehrSalaselApplicant(Respondent)andSunnybrookHealthSciencesCentre,Dr.BrianCuthbertsonandDr.GordonRubenfeldRespondents(Appellants)ANDBETWEENDr.BrianCuthbertsonandDr.GordonRubenfeldApplicants(Appellants)andHassanRasouli,byhislitigationguardianandsubstitutedecisionmaker,ParichehrSalaselRespondents(Respondents)HarryUnderwoodandAndrewMcCutcheonfortheappellants,Dr.CuthbertsonandDr.Rubenfeld
 
Page:2J.GardnerHodderandGuillermoSchible,fortherespondentHassanRasouliHughScherandMarkHandelman,fortheintervenertheEuthanasiaPreventionCoalitionOnappealfromtheordersofJusticeSusanHimeloftheSuperiorCourtofJusticedatedMarch9,2011.Heard:May18,2011
MoldaverandSimmonsJJ.A.:
[1]ParichehrSalaselisthewifeoftherespondent,HassanRasouli.Sheisalsohislitigationguardianandsubstitutedecision-makerunderthe
HealthCareConsentAct,
1996,S.O.1996,c.2,Sch.A(the"Act").[2]TherespondentishospitalizedattheSunnybrookHealthSciencesCentre.HehasbeentheresinceOctober7,2010,whenheunderwentsurgerytoremoveabenignbraintumour.Unfortunately,post-operativecomplicationsoccurredandtherespondentdevelopedbacterialmeningitis.Theinfectionspreadthroughouthisbrainleavinghimwithsevereanddiffusebraindamage.[3]OnOctober16,2010,therespondentwasplacedonamechanicalventilator.Heisreceivingartificialnutritionandhydrationthroughatubeinsertedintohisstomach.Theselife-sustainingmeasuresarekeepinghimaliveandhemaysurviveforsomemonthsiftheyarecontinued.Withoutthem,itisexpectedthathewillsoonstopbreathinganddie.
 
Page:3[4]DoctorsCuthbertsonandRubenfeldaretheappellantsinthismatter.Theyarethedoctorsresponsiblefortherespondent'streatmentandcare.They,andmanyotherdoctorswhohaveexaminedtherespondent
I,
haveconcludedthatheisinapermanentvegetativestatewhich,inmedicalterms,meansthathewillneveragainregainconsciousness.Hiscase,theybelieve,ishopeless.Inquiriestohaveanotherhospitaltakeuphiscareprovedunsuccessful.Allappropriatetreatmentshavebeenexhausted,thereisnorealistichopeofmedicalrecovery,andtherespondentisnotreceivinganymedicalbenefitfrombeingkeptonlifesupport.Inthesecircumstances,theappellantsbelieveitisintherespondent'sbestintereststhathebetakenofflifesupportandprovidedwithpalliativecareuntilhedies.TheyhaveproposedthatcourseofactiontoMs.Salasel.[5]TheappellantsacknowledgethattheyneedMs.Salasel'sconsent,inhercapacityassubstitutedecision-makerforherhusband,toadministerpalliativecaretohim.Theymaintain,however,thattheydonotneedherconsenttowithdrawthelife-sustainingmeasuresasthosemeasureshavespenttheircourseandarenolongermedicallyindicated.
I
Amongthemanydoctorswhohaveexaminedhim,therespondentwasassessedinJanuary2011byaneurologistwhohadnopriorinvolvementwithhimandwhoconfirmedthediagnosisofpermanentvegetativestate.Aswell,thefamilywasinvitedbytheHospitaltoobtaintheirownneurologicalopinion,iftheywishedtodoso.

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