Religious rights appeal launched

CBC, Nov. 18, 2002

CALGARY – The lawyers representing Jehovah’s Witness who was at the centre of a dispute over blood transfusions to treat her leukemia. She died in September. She had just turned 16-years-old.

Judge Alberta Vickery ruled she could not hear a case about whether Bethany’s rights were abused by a court order that put her under provincial care. She said her court didn’t have the jurisdiction to hear that argument because the guardianship order ended when Bethany’s leukemia became incurable.

“Judge Vickery said that she had no jurisdiction to hear Bethany’s case because the temporary guardianship had been dismissed,” says Bethany’s lawyer, David Gnam.

“Our contention is that yes she did have jurisdiction, and we’d like to have the Court of Queen’s Bench hear the issue.”

Gnam says it’s a very narrow legal issue that will take less than a day to argue. But he says it will be many months before they’ll make their appearance in court.

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