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Mission woman to be kept alive: court

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

The family of a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease won’t be able to cut off her food and water, the B.C. Supreme Court has ruled, ignoring her wishes to not be kept alive by artificial means.

More than two decades ago, Mission resident Margot Bentley signed a witnessed document that she be “allowed to die and not be kept alive by artificial means or ‘heroic measures’” if she could not recover from extreme physical or mental disability.

In 1999, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s — the 82-year-old is now capable of little physical movement and hasn’t spoken in four years.

Her daughter, Katherine Hammond, and husband John Bentley petitioned to cease her feeding to respect Margot’s wishes.

Justice Bruce Greyell, however, ruled on a decision this week that Bentley is accepting food and drink fed from a glass or spoon and that equates to providing consent.

The judge said that even if Bentley was incapable of accepting food and water, her signed letter isn’t enough to cut off her care. 

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