(Reuters) Ontario doctors have no right to unilaterally withdraw life support from a patient if the family objects, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Friday in a case that centered on a Toronto man who has been in a coma since 2010.

The wife of Hassan Rasouli, a Shi’ite Muslim, had objected on religious grounds to the doctors’ decision that her husband’s life support should be withdrawn as it was of no medical benefit, arguing that if death can be prevented, it should be.

The Supreme Court ruled narrowly that under the Ontario law governing such situations, the Health Care Consent Act, doctors could not end life support unilaterally, although they may do so with the backing of a special panel.

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.