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“My understanding is that [the parents] have been taken to the hospital and were allowed 20 minutes, as per court order,” said Michelle Davio, spokeswoman for Alberta Justice. “They were separate visits.”
The Supreme Court of Canada rejected their request for an emergency stay, which would have kept the toddler alive long enough for the court to hear an appeal of the Alberta Court of Appeal’s decision to let the girl die.
The sanctity of human life is one of the core values of our society and justice system, but life is not without end
The two-year-old has been in a vegetative state for months, ever since paramedics were called to her Edmonton home on May 25 to find her emaciated — she weighed only 13 pounds — and with a head injury. Her twin sister was also malnourished, at 16 pounds.
Her 34-year-old parents are charged with aggravated assault, criminal negligence causing bodily harm and failing to provide the necessities of life, charges that are likely to be upgraded now that the child has died.
The decision was so sensible. [The judge] touched on all the factors, the religious belief issue, she touched on the potential conflict of interest issue
“The sanctity of human life is one of the core values of our society and justice system, but life is not without end.”
The parents, who cannot be identified, filed a motion with the Supreme Court of Canada asking it to intervene. They said love and their religion — they are Muslims — demanded they keep the child alive.
They did, however, sign a do-not-resuscitate order if her heart failed.
Carissima Mathen, an associate professor who specializes in constitutional law at the University of Ottawa, said there was an argument for keeping the child alive long enough to hear the case. However, the court does not have to explain why it would not hear the appeal.
“The decision was so sensible. [The judge] touched on all the factors, the religious belief issue, she touched on the potential conflict of interest issue. At its core, this was really about the best interest of the child and she really kept the focus on there,” he said.