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ASPartOfMe
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16 Mar 2024, 6:35 pm

Father asks court to stop 27-year-old daughter's MAID death, review doctors' sign-off

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The father of a 27-year-old woman who has been approved for Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) has asked a Calgary judge to dig into the circumstances that led to two of three doctors approving his daughter's application.

A publication ban protects the identities of the parties and the medical professionals. CBC News will identify the daughter as M.V. and the father as W.V.

At issue is whether the courts can step in when family members, with no legal standing, have concerns about the MAID approval process.

Currently, two doctors or nurse practitioners have to approve a patient for MAID.

The medical practitioners must determine, through an assessment, that the person has a grievous and irremediable medical condition that causes intolerable and enduring physical or psychological suffering.

A previous requirement of MAID — a reasonable foreseeability of natural death — was repealed in 2021. For now, people suffering solely with mental illness are excluded from accessing MAID.

No explanation for MAID qualification
Court of King's Bench Justice Colin Feasby heard that M.V. — who lives with her father — was approved in December. Her date to receive MAID was set for Feb. 1.

The day before she was scheduled to die, W.V. was successful in seeking a temporary injunction, preventing M.V. from accessing MAID.

She has not submitted any medical documentation that could explain why she qualifies for MAID.

In a brief filed with the court, W.V. argued "M.V. suffers from autism and possibly other undiagnosed maladies that do not satisfy the eligibility criteria for MAID."

[/b]’None of your business'[/b]
But M.V.'s lawyer Austin Paladeau argued she's "not trying to withhold or hide anything."

"She's saying 'it's none of [W.V.'s] or the public's business, I've been approved by two doctors, I am entitled to this and, court, it's none of your business either.'"

Sarah Miller, the lawyer for the father, called the situation "a novel issue for Alberta."

"As it stands, AHS [Alberta Health Services] operates a MAID system with no legislation, no appeal process and no means of review," wrote Miller in her brief for the court.

M.V. 'not a reliable witness'
The father submitted a 2021 report with the court, authored by a doctor at a neurology clinic who concluded M.V. required no followup and was "normal" and sent her back to her family doctor.

Miller also pointed out that on her initial MAID application, M.V. indicated her death had become "reasonably foreseeable" yet she was approved as a "track 2" MAID patient, which means death is not reasonably foreseeable.

"Therefore M.V. is not a reliable witness," wrote Miller in her brief.

Feasby heard that two doctors were initially approached by M.V. One agreed to sign off on approving her for MAID, the other denied the application.

A third "tie-breaker" doctor, as described by lawyers for Alberta Health Services, was then offered to the patient, in this case, M.V.

MAID 'unlike any situation'
W.V. believes M.V. is not eligible for MAID and that her "capacity to consent to MAID is impacted by mental illness." He also feels she's been "unduly influenced by a third party," according to one of the documents filed with the court.

If the MAID approval process is not followed as set out in the Criminal Code, medical practitioners could be charged criminally.

"If the courts can look at this in the criminal context, the courts can look at this in a pre-criminal context," argued Miller.

Emily Amirkhani, another lawyer for W.V., argued that MAID is "an incredibly unique system" where if a person seeking MAID is wrongfully approved, "that person is never going to cause anyone to look behind that curtain" because they got what they wanted.

Medical autonomy
M.V.'s lawyer Austin Paladeau stressed the case boils down to an adult's right to medical autonomy.

"He's at risk of losing his daughter and while this is sad, it does not give him the right to keep her alive against her wishes," said Paladeau.

"One of the real challenging parts of this process … is what's actually happening," said Paladeau.

"I completely understand [W.V.] does not want his daughter to die … I represent [M.V.], I don't want her to die either but that doesn't play into account here.

"Even though we have or may have very strong views … at the end of the day this is [M.V.'s] decision."

Judge calls case 'vexing'

Paladeau argued that the determination of eligibility for MAID, including whether an individual has capacity, should be left to the approved assessors.

He also noted that parliament considered and rejected a supervisory and/or review role for judges.

Feasby described the case as "vexing."
"As a court, I can't go second guessing these MAID assessors … but I'm stuck with this: the only comprehensive assessment of this person done says she's normal," said Feasby.

"That's really hard."

The judge reserved his decision on whether he'll set aside the temporary injunction preventing M.V. from accessing MAID.

The other part of his decision will deal with whether a judicial review will take place, which would examine how doctors came to sign off on M.V.'s MAID application.


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Last edited by ASPartOfMe on 16 Mar 2024, 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

funeralxempire
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16 Mar 2024, 6:38 pm

He's hoping to treat her like a child who's incapable of deciding what's best for herself.

Her choice, not his.


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16 Mar 2024, 6:54 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
He's hoping to treat her like a child who's incapable of deciding what's best for herself.

Her choice, not his.



Very well said!



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18 Mar 2024, 3:28 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
He's hoping to treat her like a child who's incapable of deciding what's best for herself.

Her choice, not his.


Strange view is it not everyone’s duty to prevent suicide or assisted death as it’s called unless under extreme circumstances?

ie unless to protect the individual from unnecessary suffering and pain where the person has a VERY low quality of life where death in the short term is inevitable.

I would be the last person to claim being autistic is enjoyable however it’s not clear unless I missed something apart from autism what other condition if any this unfortunate person has.

I once read somewhere about a clinic in Switzerland reducing its bar for assisted suicide from terminal conditions to those “who are just tired of life” whatever that means.

This is very dangerous I can just see in the future an unsympathetic gov’s under severe economic pressure with little ability to support the high number of autistic or disabled people just pointing the way for people to make it easier for all.

This must be resisted


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18 Mar 2024, 3:47 pm

carlos55 wrote:
Strange view is it not everyone’s duty to prevent suicide or assisted death as it’s called unless under extreme circumstances?

ie unless to protect the individual from unnecessary suffering and pain where the person has a VERY low quality of life where death in the short term is inevitable.

I would be the last person to claim being autistic is enjoyable however it’s not clear unless I missed something apart from autism what other condition if any this unfortunate person has.

I once read somewhere about a clinic in Switzerland reducing its bar for assisted suicide from terminal conditions to those “who are just tired of life” whatever that means.

This is very dangerous I can just see in the future an unsympathetic gov’s under severe economic pressure with little ability to support the high number of autistic or disabled people just pointing the way for people to make it easier for all.

This must be resisted


Assisted suicide IS a last resort for those with TERMINAL illness... Disabilities, and neurodiversity ARE NOT TERMINAL, thus they are already protected From even being considered for Assisted Suicide.

Its the father who is opening the door to governmental interference here, not the existing laws. Attempting to set precedent to allow interference with the law based on the personal or religious views of others is the slippery slope.



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18 Mar 2024, 3:54 pm

carlos55 wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
He's hoping to treat her like a child who's incapable of deciding what's best for herself.

Her choice, not his.


Strange view is it not everyone’s duty to prevent suicide or assisted death as it’s called unless under extreme circumstances?

ie unless to protect the individual from unnecessary suffering and pain where the person has a VERY low quality of life where death in the short term is inevitable.


No, there is no obligation to prevent people of sound mind from making the choice to end their life if they find living unbearable.

There absolutely comes a point where denying something their right to make this choice comes down others imposing their will upon the person, acting like that person owes it to others to just endure suffering because of how others feel about their choice.

I agree with your concerns over governments potentially pressuring people and that needs to be resisted, but that doesn't mean that there aren't people who aren't feeling pressured and genuinely have made that decision freely. It's not fair to force those people into a situation where they need to choose a riskier method that creates more problems for others.

It might feel positive to deny her assisted suicide, until she crashes through someone's windshield after jumping off an overpass or gets found by someone who isn't prepared to deal with it.


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18 Mar 2024, 3:57 pm

DanielW wrote:
Assisted suicide IS a last resort for those with TERMINAL illness... Disabilities, and neurodiversity ARE NOT TERMINAL, thus they are already protected From even being considered for Assisted Suicide.

Its the father who is opening the door to governmental interference here, not the existing laws. Attempting to set precedent to allow interference with the law based on the personal or religious views of others is the slippery slope.


She doesn't appear to have a terminal illness, at least based on current reporting.

She stated in her application that her death is "reasonably foreseeable", but was approved for track 2, which means that's not agreed with by the courts.

This would make me suspect that she's indicated that she intends on ending her life with or without assistance, rather than that she has a terminal illness.


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18 Mar 2024, 4:41 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
She doesn't appear to have a terminal illness, at least based on current reporting.

She stated in her application that her death is "reasonably foreseeable", but was approved for track 2, which means that's not agreed with by the courts.


Exactly why is she doing this? "her death is reasonably foreseeable" so is everyone's.

She may simply have mental health problems needing help i think people should know first.

If she has something medically horrible then maybe its justified but maybe she just needs protecting from herself as well


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18 Mar 2024, 5:01 pm

carlos55 wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
She doesn't appear to have a terminal illness, at least based on current reporting.

She stated in her application that her death is "reasonably foreseeable", but was approved for track 2, which means that's not agreed with by the courts.


Exactly why is she doing this? "her death is reasonably foreseeable" so is everyone's.

She may simply have mental health problems needing help i think people should know first.

If she has something medically horrible then maybe its justified but maybe she just needs protecting from herself as well


How long should someone deal with treatment-resistant depression* before they're allowed to argue it's too much?

I think it's silly to act like physical pain is a justification but mental pain can't be.

* Not to suggest that she's made the case that she suffers from treatment resistant depression.


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18 Mar 2024, 5:03 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
DanielW wrote:
Assisted suicide IS a last resort for those with TERMINAL illness... Disabilities, and neurodiversity ARE NOT TERMINAL, thus they are already protected From even being considered for Assisted Suicide.

Its the father who is opening the door to governmental interference here, not the existing laws. Attempting to set precedent to allow interference with the law based on the personal or religious views of others is the slippery slope.


She doesn't appear to have a terminal illness, at least based on current reporting.

She stated in her application that her death is "reasonably foreseeable", but was approved for track 2, which means that's not agreed with by the courts.

This would make me suspect that she's indicated that she intends on ending her life with or without assistance, rather than that she has a terminal illness.



Under Canadian Law "reasonably foreseeable" equates with 6 months or less of time before death...its difference from "terminal" leaves room for a slight possibility, however slight of living longer - possibly significantly longer. LONGER however doesn't mean with a steady quality of life or controllable pain etc.



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19 Mar 2024, 7:50 am

funeralxempire wrote:
carlos55 wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
She doesn't appear to have a terminal illness, at least based on current reporting.

She stated in her application that her death is "reasonably foreseeable", but was approved for track 2, which means that's not agreed with by the courts.


Exactly why is she doing this? "her death is reasonably foreseeable" so is everyone's.

She may simply have mental health problems needing help i think people should know first.

If she has something medically horrible then maybe its justified but maybe she just needs protecting from herself as well


How long should someone deal with treatment-resistant depression* before they're allowed to argue it's too much?

I think it's silly to act like physical pain is a justification but mental pain can't be.

* Not to suggest that she's made the case that she suffers from treatment resistant depression.


There’s probably a huge number of people on this site who felt like that at some point in time, maybe everyone?

So if there was a quick off the shelf way to end it all most of us wouldn’t be here now

Worse if such things are encouraged or expected of the cognitively disabled by an unsympathetic gov or society in the same way abortion is expected for Down syndrome.

It’s a slippery slope to oblivion


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19 Mar 2024, 9:33 am

carlos55 wrote:
[There’s probably a huge number of people on this site who felt like that at some point in time, maybe everyone?

So if there was a quick off the shelf way to end it all most of us wouldn’t be here now

Worse if such things are encouraged or expected of the cognitively disabled by an unsympathetic gov or society in the same way abortion is expected for Down syndrome.

It’s a slippery slope to oblivion


I don't see HOW it could be. Under existing laws, disability, mental illness and mental incompetance, ALL exclude people from seeking assisted suicide.



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19 Mar 2024, 11:06 am

carlos55 wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
carlos55 wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
She doesn't appear to have a terminal illness, at least based on current reporting.

She stated in her application that her death is "reasonably foreseeable", but was approved for track 2, which means that's not agreed with by the courts.


Exactly why is she doing this? "her death is reasonably foreseeable" so is everyone's.

She may simply have mental health problems needing help i think people should know first.

If she has something medically horrible then maybe its justified but maybe she just needs protecting from herself as well


How long should someone deal with treatment-resistant depression* before they're allowed to argue it's too much?

I think it's silly to act like physical pain is a justification but mental pain can't be.

* Not to suggest that she's made the case that she suffers from treatment resistant depression.


There’s probably a huge number of people on this site who felt like that at some point in time, maybe everyone?

So if there was a quick off the shelf way to end it all most of us wouldn’t be here now

Worse if such things are encouraged or expected of the cognitively disabled by an unsympathetic gov or society in the same way abortion is expected for Down syndrome.

It’s a slippery slope to oblivion


It sounds like you'd rather people suffer needlessly.

I have a right to die. You don't have any right to interfere.


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19 Mar 2024, 1:28 pm

I can’t judge her situation. We don’t know if she has cooccurring conditions, we don’t know her reasoning and we have no right to know them.

What I would not want to happen is to see autism become a standard reason medically assisted suicide is accepted. In most cases autistic suicide ideation is either preventable or does not need to be more then a temporary problem. With better mental health a lot of excruciating co occurring conditions can be mitigated.


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19 Mar 2024, 3:00 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
carlos55 wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
carlos55 wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
She doesn't appear to have a terminal illness, at least based on current reporting.

She stated in her application that her death is "reasonably foreseeable", but was approved for track 2, which means that's not agreed with by the courts.


Exactly why is she doing this? "her death is reasonably foreseeable" so is everyone's.

She may simply have mental health problems needing help i think people should know first.

If she has something medically horrible then maybe its justified but maybe she just needs protecting from herself as well


How long should someone deal with treatment-resistant depression* before they're allowed to argue it's too much?

I think it's silly to act like physical pain is a justification but mental pain can't be.

* Not to suggest that she's made the case that she suffers from treatment resistant depression.


There’s probably a huge number of people on this site who felt like that at some point in time, maybe everyone?

So if there was a quick off the shelf way to end it all most of us wouldn’t be here now

Worse if such things are encouraged or expected of the cognitively disabled by an unsympathetic gov or society in the same way abortion is expected for Down syndrome.

It’s a slippery slope to oblivion


It sounds like you'd rather people suffer needlessly.

I have a right to die. You don't have any right to interfere.


You have the ability to kill yourself if that's what you want, but society has the duty to make it hard for you to do that or at least stop you in the short term if possible.

That's why they section people in mental health hospitals, when people become a danger to themselves or others, society steps in to prevent harm to all.

I`m not totally against assisted dying in certain circumstances, end stage dementia would be an ideal example.

But I'm against including common mental health conditions in that list including treatment proof depression example that you mentioned earlier.


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19 Mar 2024, 3:05 pm

carlos55 wrote:
But I'm against including common mental health conditions in that list including treatment proof depression example that you mentioned earlier.


I think if a condition is ongoing and unable to be treated euthanasia needs to be an available option. It's unreasonable to treat mental suffering as less valid than physical pain.

Aww shucks, well, everyone gets glum sometimes is just a dismissive and insulting excuse to ignore unresolvable suffering.


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