another article on the Hughes case

by megs 1 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • megs

    Father cannot introduce new evidence in Bethany Hughes case, court rules

    By Daryl Slade, Calgary Herald May 25, 2009 Be the first to post a comment

    CALGARY - Lawrence Hughes will not be able to present new evidence on behalf of his daughter Bethany's estate in the case looking into her death, a provincial court has ruled.

    Hughes has been trying to prove his daughter's death was caused partly by conflicting legal or medical advice from lawyers and members of the religious group Watchtower Society, which represents the Jehovah's Witness faith in Canada.

    The Alberta Court of Appeal concluded, however - in a written decision released on Monday - that there was no error by the chambers judge who made the original decision to exclude new evidence last year.

    Bethany Hughes, who died Sept. 5, 2002, from acute myeloid leukemia, became the centre of a medical and legal battle over whether she should receive blood transfusions.

    Following the church's teachings, Bethany refused the blood and became a temporary ward of the province. She died about four months later despite being given 80 transfusions against her will.

    In Monday's ruling, the province's top court also dismissed counter claims by the Watchtower Society and its lawyers, David Gnam and Shane Brady, that they be removed from Hughes' wrongful death lawsuit.

    The court decision said it found "some evidence of involvement of Brady and Gnam in the medical events after Bethany left the Alberta Children's Hospital," which led to the court's choice to reject the counter claims.

    Despite not being able to introduce new evidence, Hughes called the decision "a victory."

    "I see this as a win," Hughes said outside court. "The court has accepted throughout that the lawyer-priests, Gnam and Brady, are employees of the Watchtower Society.

    "This judgment decided that they have to answer for their actions in preventing Bethany from getting the best medical care. I couldn't prove that the lawyer-priests conflict of interest caused her death, but that doesn't mean there was no conflict

    of interest."

    The court did allow appeals by church members Merrill Morrell and Thomm Bokor to have their names removed from the statement of claim.

    The scaled-down claim will now go back before a case management judge as it moves toward a trial.

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    © Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald
  • Scott77

    "The court did allow appeals by church members Merrill Morrell and Thomm Bokor to have their names removed from the statement of claim[ of wrongful death]"

    Iam concerned, Why was this allowed? I thought Merrill Morell and Thomm Bokor are party to the lawsuit since they represented the WTS. Or perhaps it will be only the WTS to be sued not the individual representative lawyers.


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