Ontario family’s legal fight to keep daughter on life support could change how death is defined across Canada

“For more than a year now, Ms. McKitty has been sustained on borrowed time in the Brampton Intensive Care Unit, her family providing round-the-clock attention to a woman they believe to be alive and deserving of a chance to recover. Though at least five examining physicians have declared Ms. McKitty brain dead, hospital nurses still rotate through her ICU room for care. The family’s refusal to discontinue life support kicked off a labyrinthine legal dilemma, which they’re taking to the Ontario Court of Appeal this week. The question of what constitutes death, and who decides when that line has been crossed, has no clear legislative answer across much of Canada. The case pulls on opposing threads of science and faith, evokes questions about Charter rights and challenges the role of cultural practices in modern medicine.”

Victoria Gibson – The Globe and Mail – December 2018

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