Debra Selkirk has filed a lawsuit against the Ontario Health Ministry after her late husband, Mark, died after doctors refused to perform a liver transplant on him. The current policy states that alcoholics have to be sober for six months before they are considered for a liver transplant. Selkrik’s challenge says these rules are based on prejudice, not science and should be struck down as unconstitutional. She argues that the rules breach the Charter of Rights and Freedom’s guarantee of equality since other patients whose disease is lifestyle-related are not forced to change their unhealthy ways before they can receive a new organ. The case notes that alcoholism is deemed a disability and a prohibited ground of discrimination, by the Canadian Human Rights Code.
Should the policy be changed?