Unborn baby not deemed a human under Canadian law when considering homicide charges
An unborn baby is not considered a human under Canadian law, according to a lawyer, as Saskatoon police continue to investigate the death of a pregnant woman.
Crystal McFadyen, 37, was the victim of homicide according to the coroner’s office which completed an autopsy on her body earlier this week.
McFadyen’s body was found inside a burned home on Avenue F North on July 6.
According to the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS), McFadyen was eight months pregnant.
Lawyer Jay Watson said there are stipulations need to be met in order to be considered a human in accordance with Canadian law.
“The baby has to have left the mother’s body, either breathed or has independent circulation, or the naval cord has been severed,” Watson said.
Without that criteria the scenario would be too hypothetical, said Watson.
“You’d be dealing with hypothetical situations. Would this baby have lived and all sorts of factors would have to be taken into account,” he said, including the health of the mother and the circumstances of the birth, and the history of the pregnancy.
“It would be difficult to obtain convictions when you’re dealing in hypothetical.”
Jonathan Rosenthal, 39, is due back in court at the end of the month on an arson charge in relation to a house fire in the 200 block of Avenue F North, where McFadyen’s body was found.
SPS confirmed Rosenthal and McFadyen were known to each other and Rosenthal is a person of interest in her death.
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