A Canadian judge has allowed an Orthodox Jewish family to keep their son on life support after he was declared brain dead by doctors.
His father, Maxime Ouanounou, said in a court affidavit: “Shalom’s belief is that discontinuing life support in these circumstances is murder and therefore contrary to his fundamental belief in the sanctity of human life.”
Hugh Sher, one of the lawyers representing the patient’s case, told the BBC that Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects people from discrimination of religion and that this should extend to end-of-life care.
In the US, New York, Illinois, New Jersey and California have all passed laws allowing for religious exemptions for those whose faiths do not accept the concept of brain death.
The Canadian Critical Care Society, which represents healthcare professionals who specialise in the areas of death determination, organ donation, and end-of-life care, says that without brain function, technological interventions should not give false hope.