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27 year old autistic Alberta woman approved for euthanasia. Her father is challenging the decision in court.

by | Mar 13, 2024

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

CBC News reported on March 12, 2024 of an Alberta court case concerning a father who has petitioned the court to prevent the euthanasia death of his 27-year-old autistic daughter—M.V.– who lives at home. The father is stating that his daughter does not have a medical condition that qualifies under the law, whereas the daughter has already been approved for death by lethal poison.

This case affects me greatly since I have an autistic son and I have significant life experience concerning my son’s lived reality.

CBC News
 reported on the case that:

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.

 CBC News stated that there is no explanation for the MAID qualification.

Court of King’s Bench Justice Colin Feasby heard that M.V. was approved for MAID in December. Her date to receive MAID was set for Feb. 1.

The day before she was scheduled to die, W.V. [her father] 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.”

The lawyer for the daughter, M.V., stated that it is none of her father’s business.

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.

Miller has asked Feasby for a judicial review of M.V.’s MAID approval.

CBC reported that the father stated that his daughter’s claims are unreliable.

The father submitted a 2021 report with the court, authored by a doctor at a neurology clinic who concluded M.V. required no follow-up and was “normal” and sent her back to her family doctor.

Miller, the father’s lawyer, 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.

According to CBC News, the father argued that his daughter is also depressed.

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.

CBC News reported that a lawyer for the father argued that MAiD (euthanasia) is unique because a person who is wrongfully approved is dead.

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.

“It’s unlike any situation I can think of where the wrongful administration of the system cannot be brought to light but for someone besides the patient,” said Amirkhani.

CBC News reported that the lawyer for the daughter argued that he understands that the father doesn’t want his daughter to die, but she has 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.”

Justice Feasby stated that this is a vexing case. The only medical assessment that was given is from 2021 and it indicates that the daughter is not ill. The Judge reserved his decision on the injunction.

Editor’s note. This was posted on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and reposted with permission.

Categories: Euthanasia