Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rights complaint against hospital

The parents of a baby girl who died at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children have filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, saying their daughter received inadequate care and that a do not resuscitate order was filed without their consent.

The Star's Emily Mathieu writes about the case in today's Toronto Star.

The parents of Annie Farlow – a 2-month-old who died at the Hospital for Sick Children in 2005 after receiving what her parents allege was inadequate care because of a genetic condition – are attempting to take their case to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

"I think every child regardless of their disabilities deserves a chance at life and if the treatment or surgery is not in their best interest, then they deserve a dignified, comfortable and peaceful death," said Annie's mother, Barb Farlow, yesterday outside a meeting to determine if their application for a hearing will go forward.

Annie had Trisomy 13, a genetic condition associated with severe developmental and physical disabilities. The Farlows raised concerns that the hospital has a policy to provide children with genetic conditions only supportive care, keeping them comfortable until they die rather than attempt extraordinary life-saving measures.

The Farlows also said the hospital has been reluctant to release crucial records related to Annie's care – including an audit detailing the period of time close to her death.

The hospital said allegations that any child with a genetic condition or disability receives lesser care are untrue.

The rest of the story is here.

The Star's Helen Henderson also wrote about Annie last summer.

Annie's mother, Barbara, told her daughter's story at the University of Toronto's Joint Centre for Bioethics last June. Her lecture is archived here. The Farlows have also set up a web site to tell Annie's story.


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