Winnipeg, Canada – NY Doctor To Testify In Favor Of Sustaining Life Support For Orthodox Patient

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    SAM GOLUBCHUK is an 84 year old disabled man who had been in a hospital on life support in the city of Winnipeg, CanadaWinnipeg, Canada – A neurologist from Far Rockaway has agreed to testify as a medical expert on behalf of the family of Samuel Golubchuk, an Orthodox Canadian man who is fighting against a health-care system determined to end his life by disconnecting his ventilator.

    In an affidavit to the court filed in January, Dr. Leon Zacharowicz found that Mr. Golubchuk, 84, had been described as being “awake and at times interactive,” information which had not been revealed to the judges by the defendants. They had instead described Mr. Golubchuk as “having minimal brain function” and dying.

    There are serious ethical and halachic implications resulting from the removal of life support, and the case of Samuel Golubchuk is forcing these issues to the fore.

    “If a person’s life is dependent on the removal of a ventilator, the decision to take them off the ventilator would be equal to homicide,” said Rabbi Dr. Edward Reichman of Cedarhurst, a leading expert and lecturer in the field of medical ethics.

    Dr. Reichman is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center and of Philosophy and History of Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

    Although there is debate amongst modern poskim as to the exact definition of brain death, “Mr. Golubchuk is clearly not brain dead,” Dr. Reichman confirmed in an interview with The Jewish Star. “The overwhelming majority of rabbinic authorities maintain that it would be prohibited to remove the respirator, if that would lead to the individual’s death.”

    Golubchuk’s medical situation, in which he is not brain dead and is legally alive, is fairly common. Yet, what is unusual is that the Canadian doctors feel that medical decisions about a patient’s life should be made by physicians and not by the patient’s family. The Canadian doctors are effectively battling Golubchuk’s family to achieve the power to end his life.

    “This case could be a real test case,” Dr. Reichman predicted. “It could become a terrible trend if it gets pushed through. It would be a tragedy, definitely for Orthodox Jews, but also for other patients. If it gets passed in Canada, it can succeed in the United States as well.”

    ADr. Zacharowicz, who has a practice in Hewlett, is working on the case pro-bono, after being contacted by Agudath Israel of America. Along with a colleague, Dr. Zacharowicz is hoping to travel to Canada over the summer to personally evaluate the patient in preparation for the trial, scheduled for the fall. He has also conferred about the case with Dr. Fred Rosner of Far Rockaway, a world renowned medical ethicist who has authored several books on the subject.

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    9 COMMENTS

    1. an israeli secular ICU doctor recounts the night after he pulled the plug on a terminally ill patiant of his,

      whos family rejected the doctors “compassionate” suggestion to terminate the paitiont’s pointless sufferring, but the doctor secratly pulled the plug anyways.

      that night the doctor described having a PARANormal dream experiance, which sounds exactly like a “Chizayoin” described in kabbalistic lit.(Chizayoin = Kabbalistic term for SuperConciousNocternal communication) in which He (the doc) is visited by the glowing image of his now disceased patiant revealling to him that his death date was a mere 24hrs later! and had he (the patiant) suffered in this world just one more day he’d be spared from a much greater purgatory in the world to come -he now has to pass through in order for his soul to be fully “cleanesd”!! for the pure bliss of GanEden.

      the laws of Tora are MOST compassionate!!

    2. leys not go into a hospital, if they wanto pull the plug atleest let the patient go home with the ventelater,and remember the story the pulled the plug and this was on telivision and the guy didnot die .

    3. read the comments of “know this”!

      then what would you wish to be done when the patiant is yourself?!!

      infinitly greater suffering latter vs a tiny fraction upfront?!

      where is your compassion? or do you reject the autheticity ofthe Zohar (re Yisurim b’olam ha’Zeh… mechaprim…)

    4. di you read the comments of the first comentator ?

      “know this”!

      an israeli secular ICU doctor recounts the night after he pulled the plug on a terminally ill patiant of his,

      whos family rejected the doctors “compassionate” suggestion to terminate the paitiont’s pointless sufferring, but the doctor secratly pulled the plug anyways.

      that night the doctor described having a PARANormal dream experiance, which sounds exactly like a “Chizayoin” described in kabbalistic lit.(Chizayoin = Kabbalistic term for SuperConciousNocternal communication) in which He (the doc) is visited by the glowing image of his now disceased patiant revealling to him that his death date was a mere 24hrs later! and had he (the patiant) suffered in this world just one more day he’d be spared from a much greater purgatory in the world to come -he now has to pass through in order for his soul to be fully “cleanesd”!! for the pure bliss of GanEden.

      the laws of Tora are MOST compassionate!!

      then what would you wish to be done when the patiant is yourself?!!

      infinitly greater suffering latter vs a tiny fraction upfront?!

      where is your compassion? or do you reject the autheticity ofthe Zohar (re Yisurim b’olam ha’Zeh… mechaprim…)

    5. To help the family, contact SGolubchuk@shaw.ca (only for those who wish to seriously help this frum family, not for those who wish to waste their time), or contact Agudath Israel of America, or the OU, National Council of young Isreal, and the Rabbinic Council of America, all of which can be emailed (ask them what they have done)

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