Yesterday, the Winnipeg Free Press, recapping its biggest stories of 2008, reviewed the Samuel Golubchuk futility dispute, court case, and ongoing discussions about improving the end-of-life communication and dispute resolution processes in Manitoba.
I am not a big fan of the Guidelines issued by the Manitoba College of Physicians and Surgeons. Basically, they provide even less due process than the Texas Advance Directives Act. The Free Press article notes that Ontario has a fairer system with its Capacity and Consent Board. But that mechanism is probably not what Manitoba wants or needs because it is limited to situations in which the surrogates demand treatment that the patient probably would not have wanted.
The CCB would not have helped in the Golubchuk case because the family actually had evidence that Samuel would have wanted the treatment they asked providers to give. Moreover, once the CCB standard became known, the vitalists will be sure to carefully document their preferences ensuring a successful outcome in any CCB proceeding.