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Saskatoon police said in an emailed statement that officers are trained to “preserve the scene, question witnesses and collect information” quickly in response to a sudden death. That way, if the death is determined to be suspicious, no information is compromised.

Police have passed the case on to Crown prosecutors to decide if any charges will be laid.

Dunn said police officers he dealt with on the day of his wife’s death treated him with respect and compassion — one of them even let him use their cell phone to call his youngest child to give him the news while he was still in custody.

Dunn said his wife should have been eligible for the Medical Assistance in Dying program, and that police should never have needed to be involved.

“I don’t know why she was (refused),” he said. “There’s something wrong, and it needs to be fixed.”

David Dunn seen in his apartment in Saskatoon on Friday, June 1. Dunn’s wife Cecilia Bernadette Chmura committed suicide in January after being denied an assisted death. Matt Olson / Saskatoon StarPhoenix / Saskatoon

Chmura pursued assisted dying when chronic pain from fibromyalgia became too much to bear. One of the criteria to be eligible for assisted death is to be suffering from a “grievous and irremediable medical condition.”

Dunn said his wife was denied access to assisted death because her death was not considered “reasonably foreseeable” — one of the necessary conditions laid out by the government.

But Dunn also said he has seen cases from other provinces where people with similar circumstances to his wife’s were approved.

“It’s not consistent,” he said. “The only difference that I could tell … is their age and province of residence.”

Dunn said being denied access to assisted dying added a frightening level of “unknown” to his wife’s case. He said she feared something going wrong if she attempted suicide, which might lead to a slow death in the hospital because of her do not resuscitate orders.

Cecilia Bernadette Chmura with her husband David Dunn. Chmura’s application for medical assistance in dying was denied, and she took her own life. Supplied / Photo from David Dunn / Saskatoon

“Nothing changed other than she had to do it herself, and she didn’t know if it would work,” he said. “If she woke up, she would have probably tried it again. If she didn’t wake up, then that would have been … like two weeks, for her to die.”

According to Statistics Canada, there were 1,982 medically assisted deaths in the country during the first year the legislation was in effect.

The same report indicates there have been 77 requests for assisted death in Saskatchewan during the same time period, 29 of which received a medically assisted death.

During the first year, less than seven requests were declined in the province.

Dunn said after being denied, Chmura began making her own plans to take her life. In the end, being at home with him was what his wife wanted when she died, he said.

“It’s not about me … I was just doing what a loving husband would do,” he said. “I hated it, of course. I miss her every day. But … her quality of life just sucked.”


BREAKING: Prostitution bust nets more than 40 arrests

Woolworths ridiculed online over this packaging error . .
  • Marko Drobnjakovic/Associated Press
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[Ya’ think? Why would anyone be surprised? Let’s see, Category 4 storm with 155-mph winds over small island, destruction of structures, 100% loss of electricity, lack of clean water sources, insufficient medical attention, hmmm…] Salvador Hernandez and Nidhi Prakash report on new information as the Puerto Rican government is pressured to be more transparent and is facing lawsuits.

The Puerto Rican government on Friday released a new report showing a steep increase in the number of fatalities shortly after Hurricane Maria devastated the region. The numbers were released one day after a lawsuit was filed seeking more information about the number of hurricane-related deaths and just days after a recent Harvard University studyfound that as many as 5,740 people might have died as a result of the hurricane — a number many times higher than the official death toll of 64 people.

Government officials had for months stopped providing public updates on the number of dead after the Category 5 hurricane. “We congratulate the Department of Health for providing once more the tally of the number of registered deaths in Puerto Rico, which several investigators and journalists have demanded ever since this information ceased to be provided,” Mario Marazzi-Santiago, executive director of the Institute of Statistics, said in a statement.

The Institute of Statistics filed the lawsuit against the health department for the death toll information Thursday. Although the figures released Friday do not demonstrate an increase as high as what was estimated in the Harvard study, the numbers appear to suggest the real death toll from Hurricane Maria could be several times higher than original government estimates.

According to the new numbers, the government counted 2,928 deaths in September and 3,040 in October — nearly 700 deaths more each month when compared to 2016 and 2015.

Government officials are continuing to face questions regarding the local and federal response to help those on the island, and how many people died as a result of Hurricane Maria. Officials, including President Donald Trump, had previously touted the low number of deaths as a measure of a successful response. But the lack of electricity on several parts of the island, which continues today, and questions about the real death toll, have raised questions about the response and the government’s transparency.

In the first weeks after the hurricane, families and funeral directors in at least two towns told BuzzFeed News that dozens of deaths directly linked to the storm were not being counted in the government’s death toll. BuzzFeed News also found that 911 people, possibly hurricane victims, were cremated without the government’s permission and without being examined to see if their death was caused by the storm. In October, Puerto Rico’s Department of Public Safety also told BuzzFeed News it had no specific guidelines to decide which was, and which wasn’t, a death linked to the hurricane.

The Harvard Study also found that same lack of direction in its findings, saying indirect causes of death, such as from delayed medical attention for chronic conditions after the storm, may have been overlooked in death certificates. Puerto Rican officials had stopped providing updates on the number of dead in December 2017, as questions were raised about the official tally on the number of people killed during the hurricane. They have also faced criticism over not providing public data that would help answer questions over the true death toll after the hurricane.

Speaking with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosello said his government had “opened the books” to the data and that, if any agency was not cooperating, “there will be hell to pay.”

On Friday, Puerto Rico’s director of Demographic Registry also pushed back against assertions that the government was withholding information from researchers or the public.

“The public information over the deaths was provided consistent with the policy of transparency,” Wanda Llovet Diaz said in a statement. “We’ve made the information public, even when it has been under revision along with CDC [Centers of Disease Control and Prevention]. By law and to protect privacy, not all of the data is public.” Her agency, Llovet Diaz said, was also providing data to George Washington University, which was being contracted by Puerto Rico to conduct an investigation into the number of deaths on the island. Marazzi-Santiago, of the Institute of Statistics, said his agency’s lawsuit will continue to move forward since they were seeking data from each death.

For original article, see https://www.buzzfeed.com/salvadorhernandez/puerto-rico-new-death-figures?utm_term=.xmlLZ3p46#.ewoyndewL

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Topics: Duke University