In the latest of dozens of Ontario Consent and Capacity Board decisions (In re PN), the CCB directed a patient’s surrogate to consent to the physician’s proposed treatment in the event of a deterioration (“no CPR, no defribrillation, no mechanical ventilation, no non-invasive ventilator).
The patient at Peterborough Regional Health Centre was in a persistent vegetative state with no chance of a meaningful neurological recovery. He required extensive daily treatment that appeared to cause him discomfort (deep suctioning, >20 medications daily, turning…).
While the family ultimately lost, the evidence that they introduced is disturbing. The patient’s brother testified that the patient considered palliative care to be “pro-suicide,” anti-Christian,” and “against God.” Indeed, when something negative once happened to Princess Catherine the day after she visited a hospice for children, the patient apparently indicated that God was punishing her for promoting hospices. The patient even had a plan to move to France because France did not “terminate” people.