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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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The family of Brampton woman , who doctors say is clinically brain dead, filed a last-minute appeal just before their daughter was due to be removed from life support . Brampton 's Alyson McKitty and Stanley Stewart with a photo of their 27-year-old daughter Taquisha , who is currently on life support

Taquisha McKitty was declared brain dead in September 2017, and has been on life - support since. Stewart said his family is considering appealing the ruling, saying he believes it That has resulted in McKitty being kept in the intensive care unit at Brampton Civic Hospital for nearly a year

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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The family of Taquisha McKitty gathers outside a courthouse in Brampton on Sept. Ontario Superior Court Justice Lucille Shaw ruled against the family last month, but McKitty was to be kept on life support for 30 days in case the family decided to appeal .

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

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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Taquisha McKitty has been declared brain dead but her family says she shows signs of life . (Instagram). The family of a Brampton , Ont., woman McKitty was to be kept on life support for 30 days in case the family decided to appeal . In documents filed in court last week, McKitty 's parents

The family of a woman declared clinically brain dead last year is appealing a court's decision that would have seen her taken off life support Ontario Superior Court Justice Lucille Shaw ruled against the family last month, but McKitty was to be kept on life support for 30 days in case the family

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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The family of Taquisha McKitty gathers outside a courthouse in Brampton on Sept. Ontario Superior Court Justice Lucille Shaw ruled against the family last month, but McKitty was to be kept on life support for 30 days in case the family decided to appeal .

The family of a woman declared clinically brain dead last year is appealing a court’s decision that would have seen her taken off life support Ontario Superior Court Justice Lucille Shaw ruled against the family last month, but McKitty was to be kept on life support for 30 days in case the family

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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