Orthodox family sues hospital over care


A Canadian family asked a court to prevent a hospital from taking their father off life support, which violates their Orthodox Jewish beliefs.


The children of Samuel Golubchuk also are seeking damages from Winnipeg’s Grace General Hospital and their critical-care doctors for assault, claiming they tried to remove their father, 84, from a ventilator and feeding tube on Shabbat, the National Post reported Tuesday.


The hospital claims it would be violating national ethical guidelines to continue offering the patient life-extending care. Orthodox Jewish law rejects removing life-prolonging treatment.


Golubchuk was admitted to the hospital in October with heart trouble and pneumonia. Since 2003 he had been in a nursing home with brain damage and on a ventilator resulting from a fall.


A judge issued a temporary injunction in November to stop the removal of the ventilator and the feeding tube. A hearing Tuesday will determine if the injunction is to be extended.


Court affidavits reveal that Golubchuk’s daughter compared the doctors to Nazis during one conversation, the National Post reported.

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