'Death midwife': B.C. Appeal Court prevents woman from using the term for her job
VANCOUVER -- A woman who calls herself a “death midwife” has been banned from using the title after a lengthy legal battle launched by the College of Midwives of British Columbia.
The B.C. Appeal Court has overturned a lower court ruling that had granted Pashta MaryMoon the right to use the term when she argued that preventing her from using it violated her charter rights.
MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years and her work has nothing to do with delivering babies.
MaryMoon's lawyer claimed in the appeal that the ability to use the title for her vocation is connected to her self-worth, identity and dignity, which should be protected under the charter.
A three-member Appeal Court panel unanimously overturned the decision and has granted an injunction preventing her from using the title, saying the issue is mostly commercial and the argument that her rights were violated was tenuous.
Writing for the panel, Justice Peter Willcock said the lower-court judge was faulty in two respects: first, she overstated the infringement of expression and second, she misunderstood the legislative rule that prompted the infringement.