Canada Family appeals to keep Brampton woman Taquisha McKitty on life support

09:50  30 july  2018
09:50  30 july  2018 Source:   thestar.com

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Taquisha McKitty 's parents were seeking an order to keep her on a mechanical ventilator, arguing In intensive care for nearly a year. McKitty , who has a young daughter, has been on life - support since last September, when she went into cardiac arrest following a drug overdose in Brampton , Ont.

Taquisha McKitty was declared dead on September 20th and she has been on life support at Brampton Civic Hospital since then. But as Cristina Howorun

Ray Allen holding a sign posing for the camera: Brampton's Alyson McKitty and Stanley Stewart with a photo of their 27-year-old daughter Taquisha, who is currently on life support at Brampton Civic Hospital as a result of an injunction they filed last month even though doctors have declared her dead.© Bryon Johnson/Metroland Brampton's Alyson McKitty and Stanley Stewart with a photo of their 27-year-old daughter Taquisha, who is currently on life support at Brampton Civic Hospital as a result of an injunction they filed last month even though doctors have declared her dead.

Taquisha McKitty was supposed to be taken off life support this weekend.

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A judge has ruled that the Brampton woman, who has been on life support since last September, was to be to be disconnected on July 26th.

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A week after doctors at Brampton Civic Hospital declared 27-year-old Taquisha McKitty dead, a judge granted her family an injunction Wednesday to keep her

A representative of Bishop Wendell Brereton of the Glorious Church Breakthrough Temple reached out to inBrampton.com to discuss the ongoing case involving 27-year-old Brampton woman Taquisha McKitty . Family 's Request to Keep Brain Dead Brampton Woman on Life Support Denied.

But at the eleventh hour, the 27-year-old woman’s family filed an appeal, claiming McKitty is still alive and saying that removing her from life support would be an infringement of her rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“The Court failed to recognize Taquisha’s individual wishes, values and beliefs as relevant to the decision to stop all life sustaining treatment,” the notice of appeal reads.

The appeal calls on the courts to rescind McKitty’s death certificate until her heart stops beating.

McKitty was found unconscious on a Brampton sidewalk last fall after a drug overdose. Doctors at Brampton Civic Hospital ruled that she was “dead by neurological criteria” a week later. But the family says the doctors acted too quickly and got an emergency injunction to keep her on life support the next day.

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Brampton 's Alyson McKitty and Stanley Stewart with a photo of their 27-year-old daughter Taquisha , who is currently on life support at Brampton Civic Hospital. Judge adjourns case to revoke death certificate for Brampton woman on life - support until next month.

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In a closely-watched court battle last fall, the McKitty family said their Christian faith considers everyone alive as long as their heart beats. Their lawyer, Hugh Scher, argued the doctors discriminated against them by using a medical definition of death.

In June, Ontario Superior Court Justice Lucille Shaw dismissed the family’s arguments and ruled that McKitty should be taken off life support. She gave them 30 days to appeal.

“There are serious issues of public interest and concern including the interpretation of religious freedom, equality and life itself,” wrote Scher in an email to the Star. “The notion that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canadian values defined by the Charter would have no application in such circumstances is troubling and legally untenable.”

In the appeal filed last Thursday — precisely 30 days later — Scher wrote that Justice Shaw erred “by applying a legal definition of death that fails to conform with a biological definition of death.”

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Alyson McKitty and Stanley Stewart with a photo of their daughter Taquisha McKitty , whom they fought to keep on life support . (Bryon Johnson/Metroland / Metroland file photo). Taquisha McKitty , 27, was admitted to Brampton Civic Hospital on Sept.

Family making religious argument to keep Brampton woman on life support - Duration: 3:35.

Scher wrote that the court further erred by not allowing independent experts to videotape or assess McKitty’s movements, which “differ in nature, quality and duration from spinal cord reflexes.”

Shaw’s ruling stated that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not apply to McKitty, because it only protects “persons” and McKitty, because she is clinically brain dead, is not legally a “person.”

This puts the cart before the horse, Scher argues in the appeal, because McKitty’s Charter rights were breached in order to pronounce her dead.

“The Court’s predetermination of Taquisha’s death to justify non-application of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms ... dehumaniz(es) Taquisha as a non-person from the outset,” Scher wrote. “Taquisha is an individual under the law deserving of Charter protection.”

The case has been closely followed by doctors because it could impact the factors they must consider before declaring someone dead.

In her ruling, Shaw wrote that forcing doctors to keep patients on ventilation until their heart has stopped, as McKitty’s family desires, could have “significant financial impact” on the health-care system.

“There could … be an indirect impact on those who require medical services or treatment if staffing and medical resources are required to maintain those who believe that a biologically functioning body is life,” Shaw wrote.

The McKitty family maintains that the medical definition of death is under constant debate and involved “certain value-laden, limited, arbitrary, and evolving medical considerations.”

Marco Chown Oved is a Toronto-based investigative reporter. Follow him on Twitter: @marcooved

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