Thursday, June 19, 2008

More Doctors Refuse to Treat Samuel Golubchuck

On Monday, two more doctors, Bojan Paunovic and David Easton, made it clear that they refuse to treat Orthodox Jew Samuel Golubchuck. Mr. Golubchuck has been on life support since the Fall of 2007. Earlier this month another physician, Dr. Anand Kumar, resigned from the hospital treating Golubchuck rather than provide care. " Kumar resigned from his rotations at the hospital, saying he could no longer, in good conscience, continue to keep Golubchuck alive. Kumar had told Golubchuck's family it would be best to take him off life support because he has minimal brain function and his chances of recovery are slim."

Mr. Golubchuck's family refuses to allow any measures which might prematurely end his life because that would be in opposition to his religious beliefs. They have obtained a temporary injunction against any life ending intervention.

Canadian doctors, by the guideline of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), may refuse to treat patients if they arrange for treatment by another physician or provide what is determined to be "reasonable notice." Unfortunately, there are not guidelines in place which detail when it is and is not ethically acceptable to refuse care.

Although Paunovic and Easton did not resign, they have both given notice that they will not work shifts in the hospital's critical care unit, the unit in which Golubchuck is a patient. Winnipeg Regional Health Authority is currently negotiating with the physicians to try to assure proper rotation coverage.'s complete article.

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