Pashta MaryMoon (Facebook)

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

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.

“For those reasons, in my view, the chambers judge read the prohibition too widely when she found it restrained(MaryMoon’s) ability to describe her work by using the word ‘midwife’ in any capacity,” Willcock said in the decision released Wednesday.

READ MORE: B.C. college of midwives seeks to ban term ‘death midwife’

READ MORE: Victoria woman wins court battle to keep job title of ‘death midwife’

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BC Supreme Court

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local businesses feeling the effects of COVID-19

Some have adjusted their business models; others won’t suvive another year if COVID continues in 2021

Iskwew Air brings some love to Bella Coola

The Indigenous, female-owned airline touched down in Bella Coola on Sept. 29

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

Nuxalk Radio film wins big at Vancouver International Film Festival

The film won the Sea to Sky award, a $20,000 cash prize awarded by Telus

No plans to discontinue bus service, says Pacific Coastal

The company will continue to provide transfers to Anahim Lake on weather days

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

B.C. VOTES 2020: Wilkinson to stop 24-hour camping in city parks

Ban on ‘unsafe roadside panhandling’ to be enforced

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. salmon farm opponents demand answers from DFO

First Nations, conservation groups dismayed by omission of sea lice in risk assessments

Winter tires, chains now mandatory along most B.C. highways

Drivers without the proper winter tires – which must also be in good condition – can be fined $109

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

“There’s still so much we don’t know and we’re learning everyday about this particular virus.”

Most Read