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Illinois Federation

For Right to Life

Daily News

Friday, June 20, 2008

Winnipeg Doctors Offer To Treat Patient Golubchuk After Colleagues Refuse


In a new development in the case of Samuel Golubchuk, three doctors in Winnipeg have agreed to treat the 84-year-old man after several of their colleagues refused to do so.


Yesterday reported that two doctors - ICU director Bojan Paunovic and specialist David Easton - had refused shifts at Winnipeg's Grace Hospital's rather than treat Golubchuk, claiming that it was unethical to continue providing food and hydration to the severely disabled man. This is in addition to the resignation of Dr. Anand Kumar, the doctor who originally wanted to remove Golubchuk from food and hydration last fall.


Dr. Kumar said he withdrew his services because it is "in violation of my medical ethics to continue (treating Golubchuk)." He also said he believes that the "services administered in accordance with the court order are not of any medical benefit," and in fact cause harm to Golubchuk because they are uncomfortable and painful.


Golubchuk's family, however, is continuing to fight for the 84-year-old man's life, arguing that, contrary to media reports, he is not in a vegetative state and that he is only receiving the most basic care of artificial nutrition and hydration. His family says that euthanasia is against Golubchuk's Orthodox Jewish beliefs.


Heidi Graham, spokeswoman for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, announced this morning that three doctors from the regional critical-care program, who do not normally have shifts at Grace Hospital, have come forward and agreed to provide care for Golubchuk.


"Our regional critical care program and hospital have developed a plan that involves having one attending physician of record for the patient in question," Graham told CBC News.


"This physician will be supported by two other physicians. These three physicians have already agreed to this, and this situation will allow the other physicians in the Grace intensive care unit to continue with their scheduled rotations if they so desire."


The names of the additional doctors brought onto the intensive care rotation have not been released.  


Contact: Thaddeus M. Baklinski


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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly.   Click here to learn more about the IFRL.