It is being reported by the Globe and Mail that Hassan Rasouli, whos two attending Canadian doctors had determined to be in persistent vegetative state and proposed withdrawling life support, has been making a “thumbs up” sign to family in response to his wife. Mr. Rasouli is at the center of a contentious legal battle in Canada over whether physicians can withdrawl life support without the consent of family. On June 30th, the Court of Appeal for Ontario issued a unanimous decision in the Rasouli Case upholding a lower court decision requiring doctors to gain the consent of family (or other substitute decision-maker) before withdrawing life support. Physicians have appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. According to the Article, doctors are still not dropping the recommendation to withdrawl life support.
Our friends at The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition had joined Rasouli Family in this important, precedent-setting case. They gained interveiner status at the appeals level, and are again seeking interveiner status in the Supreme Court of Canada.
Family has petitioned The Supreme Court of Canada to dismiss the case, as it is now moot because Hassan Rasouli is no longer in a persistent vegetative state.
This is great news! However, it’s becoming all too familiar to hear stories of patients deemed to be in a persistent vegetative state, and then regaining consciousness. According to the Globe and Mail article a leading neuroscientist named Adrian Owen has recently published a study in the medical journal, The Lancet:
“…revealing that 19 per cent of patients believed to be in an irreversible vegetative state showed signs of full consciousness when tested with an electroencephalography machine.”
Read the full Globe and Mail article here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/vegetative-patient-now-able-to-give-thumbs-up-fuelling-debate-over-life-support/article2413296/?from=sec431