A Victoria woman will get to keep her self-described job title of “death midwife” despite best efforts for an injunction made by the College of Midwives of B.C. in a provincial court recently.
The issue between the college and Pashta MaryMoon first began in 2016, when the provincial midwives regulator wrote a letter to MaryMoon asking her to stop using the term.
MaryMoon, who said her work involves providing help to people who are dying, declined to change her self-title and continued to use it on the website Dying with Dignity Canada, as well as on her social media accounts.
While Sharma determined that MaryMoon calling herself a midwife when she isn’t a member of the college does violate the Health Professions Act – which prevents people from using the term to reference work outside of the role of a traditional midwife – the piece of legislation itself is unconstitutional and an infringement on MaryMoon’s right to freedom of expression.
The Supreme Court of Canada “has been very clear that short of physical violence, or threats of violence, any activity that conveys meaning is prima facie protected expression,” Sharma wrote in her decision published online this week.