COURT CONFIDENTIALITY RULING IN DOCTOR-ASSISTED DEATH APPLICATION
Mar 07, 2016
By Bob Komsic
As an 80-year-old Toronto man prepares to ask the court to seek a constitutional exemption for a physician-assisted death on March 17, a judge says the identifies of those who may help the man, identified as A.B., can also be kept secret.
Superior Court Justice Thomas McEwen said in his written ruling, “The confidentiality order is necessary in order to ensure that the applicant, his family, physicians and other health care professionals, are not deterred from participating in a Carter application for fear of unwanted publicity and media attention.“
The 80-year-old man is not asking for the hearing to be closed, only that the names of those involved be kept secret.
The judge considers that a reasonable compromise, saying there are good reasons to proceed anonymously, including sparing everyone from unwanted publicity.
Andrew Faith, a lawyer representing A.B. says this will bring privacy to others who may seek an application until the federal government comes up with a new law.
“They don`t have to worry that before they bring the application their names may be published. It will allow people to make the decision with some comfort.“
If the Superior Court approves the application this would be a first for Ontario.