Coroner: No Inquest Into 10 Ontario Institution Deaths
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 27, 2005
OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--Some families of the 10 people who have died while residents of Oaklands Regional Centre in the past few years expressed outrage and disappointment over a coroner's decision not to hold an inquest into those deaths, the Toronto Star reports.
Dr. Bonita Porter, Ontario's deputy chief coroner of inquests, announced her decision last Friday, explaining she believed an inquest would not be in the public interest.
"We felt we could make recommendations in a more timely manner," said Porter, whose office has conducted a six-month investigation into the deaths at the institution that houses 70 people with mental disabilities. The government is not legally required to follow any of those recommendations, which include such things as adding more staff training, reviewing how medications are administered, and improving documentation.
Gloria Mogridge, whose 46-year-old son Randy drowned last October in a creek a few blocks from the institution, said: "They keep it hidden. I really wanted an inquest because a lot of questions haven't been answered."
Cyndy Naylor, whose 22-year-old son Josef died in November 2003 after swallowing a Halloween ornament, commented: "What's disturbing for us is that we put ourselves in the public eye. It was difficult for us."
"To go through this, it seems like a waste of time," she said, calling the coroner's list of recommendations "silly and inadequate."
The investigation looked at the deaths of ten adult Oaklands residents that occurred between January 2000 and November 2004. Morgridge's drowning was listed at one of three accidental deaths, along with one who drowned in a bathtub and another who strangled after becoming trapped in an old bed frame.
Three others, including Naylor, died from gastrointestinal perforations after eating non-edible items.
The remaining four reportedly died from natural diseases.
While some officials are defending the facility, the government has not ruled out closing it, the Star noted.
"No inquest into deaths at Oaklands" (Toronto Star)
"No inquest into Oakville home deaths" (Toronto Star)