TORONTO (AP) — Canada’s highest court has ruled that doctors cannot end life support for a severely brain-damaged man without the family’s consent.
Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin wrote in a split decision Friday that withdrawal of life support is a form of treatment and that a dispute between doctors and patients cannot be settled by one side alone.
The case involves Hassan Rasouli, who has been kept alive on a ventilator and feeding tube since a botched brain surgery in 2010.
His doctors say there’s no hope of recovery and that keeping Rasouli on life support will result in worse medical complications as his body deteriorates.
Rasouli’s wife refused consent to end life support, citing their Shia Muslim religion and a belief that her husband’s movements indicate some consciousness.