The Toronto Star with Constance MacIntosh & Martha Jackman 24 October 2019
An Ontario judge has given a widow the green light to pursue a Charter challenge against a Toronto hospital that refused to perform a liver transplant on her dying husband because he was an alcoholic.
Debra Selkirk, whose husband Mark died in November 2010, joined forces with the relatives of another man who passed away after being denied a liver transplant, and will now be able to argue that the widespread practice of requiring recipients to be sober for six months is discriminatory and a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In his ruling on Thursday, Superior Court Justice Andras Schreck rejected arguments made by the University Health Network that the charter does not apply to it because it’s a private entity and not part of the government.
Constance MacIntosh is a law professor at Dalhousie University. Martha Jackman is a law professor at the University of Ottawa.