Echaquan family announces lawsuit against Quebec hospital in wake of coroner’s report

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Joyce Ichaquan’s family said on Tuesday it would launch legal action against the hospital where she died, after a Quebec coroner said a combination of “incredible” systemic racism and health care system failures contributed to her death. .

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Ichquan’s husband, Carol Dube, was accompanied by attorney Patrick Martin-Maynard, as well as other family members, as they declared the civil suit.

Martin-Maynard told reporters in Baconcor, Ky., that Ichán had been a victim of negligence “on multiple levels” and that his death was triggered by “a combination of a lack of health care and racist prejudices and misconceptions.” He said the details of the civil suit would be announced in the coming days.

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Wrong reasoning about the murder of Joyce Ichquan

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Dubey, who was accompanied by one of his daughters, spoke quietly and kept his head bowed as he once again called for a change in the system, which he said discriminated against indigenous families and left his wife several Having children is judged.

“Joyce is dead because she was indigenous,” he said. “A woman with seven wonderful children—the most beautiful one she ever had—was used against her in a system that still allows such a tragic situation to happen.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Coroner Gehne Kamel said that ever since Ichquan entered hospital in Juliet, Ky., in 2020, he had been mislabeled as a drug addict and a “difficult” patient — a label that Will affect his care till his death. days later.

Kamel’s report into Ichquan’s death found that his death was accidental, but avoidable. As she presented her report on Tuesday, Kamel said the 37-year-old Atikamakw woman would still be alive if she were a white woman.

The coroner reiterated his recommendation that the government should recognize the existence of systemic racism and make a commitment to drive it out of institutions – something the Legault government has vehemently refused to do.

“We have seen an unacceptable death and we must make sure it doesn’t go in vain,” Kamel told reporters. “It is unacceptable that large sections of our society deny such a well-documented reality.”

In Quebec City, Premier Francois Legault told reporters that he agreed that Ichquán had been subjected to prejudice, discrimination and racism in a hospital northeast of Montreal. But he said systemic racism does not exist in the province, citing what happened to Ichquan on some health care workers and the definition of “systemic” from the dictionary to support his position.

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“Is the entire education system, or the health system, racist? I believe the answer is no,” Legault said. “But it is possible that in some places, there are employees, their groups that have a discriminatory view. But to say that the whole system is racist, I cannot accept that.”

Echaquan films herself as a nurse on Facebook Live and an orderly is heard making derogatory remarks towards her at Juliet Hospital on September 28, 2020, shortly before her death.

Video of her treatment went viral and sparked outrage and condemnation, and the coroner’s final report into her death concluded that her initial diagnosis was based on bias and that she had not been properly monitored before she was eventually transferred to intensive care. .

Ichquan died of pulmonary edema associated with a rare heart condition.

Kamel said she would not engage in a political debate, but added that the systemic racism in Ichquan’s case was “undeniable”.

“From the first minute she entered the hospital, a label was put on Ms. Ichakan,” she said.

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Kamel said the medical staff, who assumed that Ichquan was experiencing opioid withdrawal, failed to properly evaluate the drugs she was taking and ignored the symptoms she described, including heart attacks. heartbeat was also included.

Later, after Ichquan was agitated and fell out of bed twice, he was labeled “dramatic” and dragged down. Kamel said health care workers had not explored options to pacify or reassure her, such as calling the hospital’s overworked liaison officer.

But while she said that racism played a part in Ichquan’s death, Kamel said it was not the only factor. She said overcrowding in the emergency room and a lack of trained staff on the floor meant there weren’t enough people to supervise Ichquan once he was stopped. The coroner said there was also a failure to notice and react quickly when her condition began to deteriorate.

She urged decision-makers to give equal importance to her other recommendations, including better staff-to-patient ratios, better communication between health officials when it comes to patient medicine, and racial sensitivity and standards of care for staff. More training is involved.

Kamel became emotional when she thought Ichquan’s daughter was trying to comfort her dying mother on her bed, and said that she hoped her report would be an invitation to discussion and reconciliation with indigenous groups.

“In the name of our comrades, our children, for this indigenous nation, let’s raise hands together,” she said.

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Martin-Maynard said that in addition to the civil lawsuit, he would also file a complaint against Quebec’s order of nurses and physicians to review his entire care. He said that he would also file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission of the province.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Granthshala editors, giving you a brief summary of the day’s most important headlines. .

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