that is why it survived constitutional scrutiny in Reference
re AHRA: see McLachlin C.J.C., at paras. 10, 156; and Cromwell
J. at paras. 291, 294. Section 8(3) makes it a criminal offence to
use an in vitro embryo without consent and, therefore, the
absence of consent is an essential element of that criminal
offence. Accordingly, were the respondent to go ahead and use the
embryo in the face of the appellant’s lack of consent, she and
those who assisted her in that endeavour would be, at a minimum,
committing the actus reus of a criminal offence.
 An individual cannot simply contract out of the criminal
law and cannot contract away the protections afforded to them
under that law. Any effort to do so is void ab initio: Transport
North American Express Inc. v. New Solutions Financial Corp.,
 1 S.C.R. 249,  S.C.J. No. 9, 2004 SCC 7, at para. 22;
G.H.L. Fridman, The Law of Contract in Canada, 6th ed.
(Toronto: Carswell, 2011), at 364-68; S.M. Waddams, The Law of
Contracts, 6th ed. (Aurora: Canada Law Book, 2010), at 419-25.
Accordingly, despite having contracted in Ontario to permit the
respondent to unilaterally deal with the embryo according to
her wishes in the event of divorce, the appellant did not, nor
could he have, contracted out of the protections afforded to him
under s. 8(3) of the AHRA and the Consent Regulations. To the
extent that the Ontario contract purports to do that, it is void.
 In any event, I do not read the Ontario contract as doing
that. As previously noted, the Ontario contract on which the
respondent relies allowed for the withdrawal of the appellant’s
consent. As set out above, it included the following clause:
Prior to providing this consent, we received and reviewed written information
from ISIS [now RCC] confirming that our cryopreserved in vitro embryo(s)
would be used only for the purposes which we authorized in this consent and
that we could withdraw our consent to the use of our in vitro . . . embryo(s) at
any time provided that we did so in the manner explained.
 Properly applied, the principles of contract interpretation
specify that a contact must be construed as a whole: Sattva
Capital Corp. v. Creston Moly Corp.,  2 S.C.R. 633, 
S.C.J. No. 53, 2014 SCC 53, at paras. 63-64. The Ontario contract
clearly allowed for withdrawal of consent. Indeed, it allowed for
precisely what the Consent Regulations require. Accordingly,
although I conclude that one cannot contract out of the ability to
withdraw consent, this contract did not purport to do so.
 I would grant the appeal and set aside the order below.