Canada: “I can’t trust this hospital. If I’m not here, my son can die.”

Charlie Fidelman, National Post, 8 October 2016

Mr Fidelman reports on a specialised respitatory-care unit in a Montreal hospital that is facing accusations of sub-standard care. Part of the 134-bed Lachine Hospital was re-purposed last year from being a geriatric, long-term nursing care facility to also accommodate as many as 20 patients with severe degenerative conditions and respiratory ailments.

According to hospital officials, 17 patients with severe respiratory ailments were transferred to the second floor of the Camille-Lefebvre wing — joining 22 aging patients — when the downtown Montreal Chest Hospital of the MUHC closed in January 2015 as part of the move to the Glen site.

Of the original 17 respiratory patients who moved, 13 are still alive.

The Camille-Lefebvre wing of the Lachine Hospital is home to some of Montreal’s heaviest-needs patients, many of whom are hooked to breathing machines and feeding tubes.

One patient of the unit ended his life this summer: ALS patient Archie Rolland arranged his death in July at his family home, saying he would rather die than continue to suffer what he called inhumane treatment at the hospital.

“I can’t trust this hospital. I have to be here every day for my son’s survival. If I’m not here, my son can die,” said Julia Ozyavuz, whose 28-year-old son, Emile, has required a ventilator since he had a heart attack. He has suffered four bacterial infections since he moved to the unit from the Montreal Neurological Hospital in January.

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