Bioethics Blogs

Toronto Police Criminally Charge Nurse for Stopping Life Support without Consent

Deanna Leblanc

Toronto police have arrested Joanna Flynn (50), a former nurse at Georgian Bay General Hospital for allegedly cutting off a patient’s life support without authorization.  

She is charged with manslaughter and with criminal negligence causing death. The victim, Deanna Leblanc (39), died at the hospital on March 2, 2014.  

The hospital CEO observed “A criminal charge involving someone at our hospital is a highly distressing occurrence and will create a good deal of anxiety for our community.” (Toronto Star)  Mark Handelman said he has never seen a Canadian health care practitioner criminally charged for ending life support.

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.