Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Manitoba Life Support Litigant, Samuel Golubchuck Passes Away

Samuel Golubchuck, the gravely ill Manitoba man whose family has waged a dramatic lawsuit against Winnipeg's Grace Hospital to require continuation of life support over the hospital's objection, has died.

Mr. Golubchuck who was 84, had been on life support since last fall.

Doctors argued that Mr Golubchuk's health had "virtually no chance of improving."

His family, comprised of devout, Orthodox Jews, argued that the hospital's intended cessation of life support would accelerate Mr. Golubchuk's death, contrary to his religious beliefs.

Justice Perry Schulman of the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench ruled in February, 2008 that Grace Hospital was required to maintain life support for Mr. Golubchuk pending trial.

Trial had originally been scheduled for December, 2008.

The trial date was advanced to September 2008, after an application earlier this month by the hospital, in which it argued "the task of caring for Golubchuk is taking a toll on staff, and one intensive-care specialist has already stopped working rotations at the facility in protest."

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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