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Supreme Court of Canada won’t hear unvaccinated woman’s case for organ donation

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will not hearthe appeal of an Alberta woman who was unwilling to be vaccinated in order to get a life-saving organ transplant.

Annette Lewis was diagnosed with a terminal disease in 2018 and was told she would not survive unless she received an organ transplant. 

She was placed on a transplant wait-list in 2020, but was informed a year later she would need to get the COVID-19 vaccine to receive an organ. 

Lewis said taking the vaccine would offend her conscience and argued the requirement violated her Charter rights to life, conscience, liberty and security of the person. 

The case was dismissed by an Alberta court, which said the Charter has no application to clinical treatment decisions, in particular for doctors establishing preconditions for organ transplants.

The Alberta Court of Appeal upheld the decision, prompting Lewis’s appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 8, 2023.

The Canadian Press


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