Before the Supreme Court, two lower courts ruled that under Ontario's Health Care Consent Act (HCCA), Rasouli's doctors need to have Salasel's consent to withdraw life support
, and that, if she refused, they would need to refer the case to the province's Consent and Capacity Board.
This is significant as it suggests that physicians do not have the final say in whether to withdraw life support
What makes vital organ retrieval ethically permissible for these patients is that it is secondary to--and essentially linked with--a valid decision to withdraw life support
And, as the AMA and others have stipulated, the decision to withdraw life support
must be made before any mention of organ donation.
A Minnesota man refuses to consent to physicians' requests to withdraw life support
from his 85-year-old wife, who is hospitalized in a persistent vegetative state.
The question whether the right to withhold or withdraw life support
systems applies only to extraordinary medical techniques or includes hydration and food is quite controversial and often goes unaddressed in statutes.
If assisted suicide is criminalized by state or federal law, it is possible that critical care physicians would be unable to withdraw life support
under any circumstances because of this association.
The case went to the Family Court, Court of Appeal and the House of Lords before permission was given to withdraw life support
, nutrition and hydration from Tony.
His family took the decision to withdraw life support
in the morning after the feared enforcer, 90, was placed in a medically induced coma at the weekend.
In summary, most often death in critical care follows a decision to withdraw life support
when active treatment has not benefitted the patient.
Thus the existing practices for determining death during controlled DCD, where a consensual decision has been made to withdraw life support
and withhold CPR, are consistent with medical, ethical, and legal standards permitting organ donation.
The DSS, which had custody of the girl, eventually won court approval to withdraw life support
, but Haleigh soon began to breathe on her own and displayed signs of responsiveness.