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Euthanasia Prevention Coalition gains intervenor standing in Calgary court case.

by | May 31, 2024

The 27-year-old autistic woman, who is otherwise healthy, was scheduled to die by euthanasia on February 1, 2024.

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) has been granted intervenor standing in the court case concerning the Calgary father who is trying to prevent the euthanasia death of his 27-year-old autistic daughter, who has autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but is otherwise healthy.

EPC submitted our application to intervene, with legal arguments, on May 17, and we were approved as an intervenor on May 30. The publication ban requires that the father be referred to as W.V. and the daughter as M.V.

This case is very important to me, since I have an autistic son.

The daughter was originally scheduled to die by euthanasia (MAiD) on February 1, but her father obtained a temporary injunction, on January 30, 2024.

CBC News reported on March 12 on the Calgary court case brought by W.V. who petitioned the court to prevent the euthanasia death of his 27-year-old autistic daughter. The father argued that M.V. did not have a medical condition that qualifies under the law for death by lethal poison (MAiD) and yet the daughter had already been approved for death.

CBC News reporter, Meghan Grant reported on March 25 that Justice Colin Feasby ruled that M.V. can die by euthanasia, despite her father’s concerns.

The day before the daughter was scheduled to die, Justice Feasby set aside an interim injunction the father had been granted that prevented the woman from dying by euthanasia. However, Justice Feasby did issue a 30-day stay so that the father could take the case to the Alberta Court of Appeal.

Justice Feasby also ordered an assessment of the role of Alberta Health Services with relation to the approval of euthanasia for M.V.

On April 2, the  Calgary Herald’s Kevin Martin reported that W.V. had taken his appeal to the Alberta Court of Appeal.

“The father wants to know how his daughter, who has autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), qualifies for the life-ending procedure, which has been approved by two doctors,” Martin wrote.

On April 8, Justice Anne Kirker ordered a stay of the injunction to prevent the death of the woman until after the appeal is decided. The date of the appeal is not known but will likely be heard in October.

The court granted EPC a 20-page written argument and a 20-minute oral argument. The EPC’s intervention focuses on several issues, but it primarily deals with the process that led to the approval of euthanasia for M.V. who does not have a medical condition that qualified for MAiD and is otherwise a healthy woman.

Categories: Euthanasia