June 26, 2008

Victorious natural death for anti-euthanasia Jew

by David Masters

A Jewish man from Winnepeg, Canada, has died of natural causes following a legal battle to keep him alive.

Doctors at Grace Hospital had expressed concern that keeping Samuel Golubchuk, 84, alive on a life support machine was causing him unnecessary suffering.

Golubchuk’s family had been outraged by the doctors’ advice; under Orthodox Jewish law it is a sin to end life prematurely.

The whole North American Jewish community became involved in the debate, with many angry that doctors could have exclusive rights over life and death decisions, and worried that decisions to shorten the life of a patient could end up being based on hospital budgets and the need for beds.

A court order obtained by the family required doctors to keep Golubchuk alive until the case went to trial this September.

However, now that he has passed away naturally, the family is celebrating.

The family’s lawyer, Neil Kravetsky, declared victory for the Golubchuk family.

Kravensky said that Golubchuk passed away when God wanted him to, rather than on the whim of doctors.

Three doctors at Grace Hospital have resigned over the case, with one doctor writing that Golubchuk’s skin ulcers meant doctors had to ‘hack away’ the infected areas, causing suffering on a par with torture.

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