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His family argued that his heart and lungs were still functioning and that under Jewish law, he was still alive and should therefore continue to receive the benefit of mechanical intervention.
While the Ouanounou family still hasn’t heard whether an Ontario Superior Court judge will make a decision in their son’s case – which will no doubt affect other Jewish patients in the future – a different judge from the same court ruled on June 26 that the Christian beliefs of Taquisha Mc Kitty should not impact the medical decision over whether to remove her from life support.
Asked to consider whether the common law definition of death violated the values underpinning the charter, such as Mc Kitty’s religious beliefs, the court noted that it was being asked to break new ground.In a 111-page judgment that touched on the common law definition of death, religious beliefs, charter rights, charter values and even on the concept of the soul, Judge Lucille Shaw ruled that Mc Kitty is brain dead and could be removed from mechanical ventilation.She suspended the order pending a 30-day appeal period, during which the Mc Kitty family can take the case to a higher court.But, Scher continued, it’s likely the parents in the Mc Kitty case will appeal the decision to the Ontario Court of Appeal.
And if the judge in the Ouanounou case provides a decision, that case could be joined with the Ouanounou case before the appellate court.
In January of this year, the Muslim employees walked off their jobs to protest Ariens’ policy which they say forces them to choose between their religion and their jobs.