Posted on January 1, 2019 at 8:58 AM
Five Ontario physicians determined that Taquisha McKitty was dead in September 2017. But the family resisted that conclusion and obtained court injunctions requiring the hospital to continue organ-sustaining treatment for the past fifteen months.
In June 2018, the Ontario Court of Justice rejected the McKitty family’s challenges to the determination of death. In particular, the court rejected to declare a right to a religious exemption from the neurological determination of death. In early December 2018, the Court of Appeal for Ontario heard an appeal in the case.
Taquisha has now been determined dead on circulatory criteria. While the case is now moot, hopefully the Court of Appeal will still issue its judgment. This is a classic exception to the mootness doctrine. Given the Shalom Ouanounou case, this is obviously an issue capable of repetition yet evading review.