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In spite of the urgent problems in the health network, members of the jury at the trial of Montrealers accused of killing out of compassion his wife with Alzheimer’s disease are reminded that their role is to judge a man, not a system.
“You’re not here to change the law on medical assistance to die, this is not your role to decide whether there is enough care given in NURSING homes,” recalled the judge Hélène Di Salvo, Wednesday at the palais de justice of Montreal.
In the last month, witnesses parade to the trial of Michel Cadotte, 57, accused of second-degree murder of his wife Jocelyne Lizotte, sick to the point where she no longer acknowledged person.
She was denied medical help to die in 2016, and the following year, her husband, who was taking care of it to the detriment of his own health, has been smothered with a pillow to end his suffering.
For the defence, Cadotte was in a state so depressed that his judgment was altered on the fateful day. This is not the opinion of the expert psychiatrist of the Crown.
Dr. Gilles Chamberland has maintained that he did not feel that the suffering of Ms. Lizotte were so obvious, nor that she wanted to die. He, however, admitted that he was never informed that witnesses said that the woman had already told us they would prefer to die rather than lose his cognitive functions.
He also acknowledged that Cadotte lived “surely” of isolation, as the latter had testified.
The trial will resume on Monday with submissions from the parties.