By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
We won a case and we protected the rights a woman to receive medical treatment without going to trial.
Two weeks ago, I received a phone call from a woman (niece) who is the legal Power of Attorney for her Aunt. The Aunt was in the hospital.
The niece needed advise and support after a doctor placed a DNR order and the hospital refused to provide oxygen assistance for her Aunt. The doctor and the hospital did not consult the niece who is the legal Power of Attorney.
The niece said that the doctor claimed that her Aunt (who had been considered incompetent) agreed to have treatment withdrawn even though her Aunt had clearly stated in the past that she wanted medical treatment and did not want a DNR.
The niece wanted to know how to protect the rights of her Aunt and her right to fulfill the wishes of her Aunt.
I advised the niece to hire a competent lawyer, but the niece did not have the financial ability to do so.
With the approval of the niece, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and Compassionate Community Care contacted the most experienced lawyer in Ontario to handle the case.
The doctor and the hospital brought the case to the Consent and Capacity Board (Board) of Ontario.
At the pre-trial hearing there was doubt that the Aunt was competent when the doctor said that the Aunt agreed to have treatment stopped. The niece was represented by the experienced lawyer and EPC was paying for the legal costs.