But Kenny's parents, siblings and relatives have asked B.C. Supreme Court Justice Miriam Gropper to intervene and keep Ng alive in the hope he can benefit from recent neuroscience medical discoveries. They argue that Kenny may qualify for pioneering treatments by brain researcher Adrian Owen.
Provincial precedent in B.C. endorses the view that life support should be terminated where medical specialists unanimously believe the patient is without awareness or hope of recovery and invasive treatment provided no potential benefit. Normally, that would be the situation here. An easy case.
But the family insists that letting Ng die would be wrong given the startling work in neuro-imaging by Dr. Owen. That research proves some patients who have lain in vegetative states for years may be more conscious than we realize.
Most U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions authorize surrogates to withdraw life-sustaining treatment when the patient is PVS. If the B.C. court overrides Kenny's wife on the grounds that there is still hope for PVS patients, such a decision will be in stark contrast to a huge body of jurisprudence.