Canadian man, who was the focus of legal battle, dies

An elderly Jewish man at the center of a Canadian debate over right-to-life issues has died.

Samuel Golubchuk, 84, of Winnipeg, died of natural causes June 24.

He had been on life support since November 2007. Doctors said he had virtually no chance of recovering and wanted to remove his ventilator and feeding tube.

His case made headlines when Golubchuk’s Orthodox family took the hospital to court. In February, they were granted an injunction forcing doctors to keep him alive.

Citing Jewish law, the family argued that removing Golubchuk from his ventilator and feeding tube would be tantamount to murder.

Three doctors resigned from the hospital over the case, with one commenting that he felt keeping the elderly man alive was “tantamount to torture.”

A trial over the matter was set to begin in mid-September.

“No one took him off life support. God did and that’s what [the family was] fighting for,” said family lawyer Neil Kravetsky. — jta