Some Nova Scotia deaths that have led to calls for public inquests

first_imgHALIFAX – Some Nova Scotia deaths that have led to calls for public inquests:Lionel Desmond, 33; Shanna Desmond, 31; Aaliyah, 10; Brenda Desmond, 52.Jan. 3, Upper Big Tracadie, N.S.Afghan veteran Lionel Desmond fatally shot his mother, wife, daughter and himself in a horrific murder-suicide that renewed debate over how Canada treats former military members with post-traumatic stress disorder. Desmond was diagnosed with PTSD and post-concussion disorder after a 2007 Afghanistan deployment. Last week, Desmond’s twin sisters, Chantel and Cassandra, joined a growing list of advocacy groups calling for an independent inquiry that would determine the facts of the case and provide a list of recommendations on how to avoid similar deaths. The medical examiner says he’s waiting to see the review before taking any further decisions.—Dorothy Stultz, 87.March 1, 2012, Bridgetown, N.S.Stultz died after a shove by a male resident at Mountain Lea Lodge, which led to a serious fall and later a blood clot. It was among a series of nine deaths over the past decade classified as “homicides” by the medical examiner. Stultz’s daughter, Debbie Stultz-Giffin, says the province’s internal study has failed to examine key elements of the case. Dr. Matthew Bowes, the medical examiner, says a judicial inquiry isn’t needed. “If a public system is reasonably diligent, I don’t think hard about a judicial inquiry. I only think hard about it if they (government) are completely ignorant or in denial about an issue,” he said. “Our health care system does have an awareness of falls of the elderly as an issue, whether accidental or homicidal I suppose.”—Jason (Libby) LeBlanc, 42.Cape Breton Correctional Facility, Jan. 31, 2016, Sydney, N.S.LeBlanc died from an opiate overdose 13 hours after being placed in a cell. An internal review concluded correctional officers failed to follow proper procedures in the strip search process and didn’t complete their rounds at standard intervals. LeBlanc’s father told The Canadian Press he had asked the medical examiner’s office for a fatality inquiry into their son’s death after the 42-year-old labourer became the sixth, non-natural prison cell death in the province since 2010 without a public inquiry.—Camille Strickland-Murphy, 22.July 28, 2015, Nova Institution for Women, Truro, N.S.Veronica Park, 38.April 24, 2015, in hospital while in custody at Nova Institution for Women.Strickland-Murphy committed suicide by suffocating herself with a plastic bag while serving a three-year sentence for attempted robbery of a pharmacy, according to a lawsuit. Park died of pneumonia, and also tested positive for an antibiotic-resistant strain of MRSA. She had sought medical help but wasn’t taken to hospital until she was found gasping in her cell, according to a lawsuit. The families of the women, both from Newfoundland, requested a fatality inquiry but didn’t get one, their lawyer says. The families say in a lawsuit the women didn’t receive appropriate or adequate medical care, but the federal prison service says such care was provided.—Clayton Cromwell, 23.Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility, April 7, 2015, Halifax.Cromwell died of a methadone overdose, even though he wasn’t part of the prison’s methadone program. Devin Maxwell, his family’s lawyer, said he has been seeking full disclosure for almost two years on what precisely happened to the 23-year-old. He said he favours a public inquest because “the goal from the family’s point of view is to get an answer as to what happened … The mother wants to make sure this never happens again and a mandatory inquest would go a long way in both these areas.” In a lawsuit, the family asserts there was a lack of control over the potentially deadly drug. The province denies the assertion.—(The Canadian Press)last_img read more

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