Bioethics Blogs

Rasouli Does Not Require Brain Death Disputes Go to Consent & Capacity Board

Mary Jane Dykeman

In October 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that the Ontario Health Care Consent Act requires that clinicians always, always obtain consent to stop life-sustaining treatment. Cuthbertson v. Rasouli.

A Toronto health law recently wrote about cases in which brain death had been clinically confirmed.  Yet, substitute decision makers suggested that Rasouli applies to their situation and consent is required to withdraw life support.

It does not for pretty much the same reason the Texas Advance Directives Act did not apply to Marlise Munoz – interventions provided to dead bodies are not “treatment.”  

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.