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Negligence, lack of care contributed to death of elderly in Quebec long-term homes during pandemic, coroner report finds

Coroner Gehane Kamel’s report on the slaughter in CHSLDs during the “first wave” of covid in 2020 has just been released. This 190+ page report contains many valuable insights for advocates of Life.
Remember that at the end of 2020, I had written an open letter to Mrs. Johanne Castonguay, Health and Welfare Commissioner, concerning what I believed to be the true causes of death in CHSLDs (Centres d'hébergement et de soins de longue durée – Long-term care homes in Quebec). I reproduce the essential part here:

“In our opinion, the vulnerable people who died in Quebec this spring in higher-than-normal numbers did not only, or even for the most part, die from a virus with a lethality rate approaching that of a strong seasonal flu; they mostly died for other reasons, including:
1. gross negligence, caused among other things by a severe shortage of manpower in long-term care facilities, which in turn was caused in large part by a media scare campaign that caused panic among the employees of these facilities;
2. a stressful situation caused by isolation and other health measures, weakening the immune systems of people who are already very fragile, and making them more likely to succumb to what are normally relatively benign diseases;
3. a policy of ‘triage’ of the elderly, denying them access, during a pandemic, to hospital services that were normally available to them;
4. a contamination of the institutions for the elderly by sick elderly people who were evacuated from the hospitals (to ‘free up’ 7000 beds, including those of 1400 patients who were still sick), in anticipation of a ‘wave’ of greater ‘priority’ patients that never came;
5. a suspension of several surgeries and other interventions, always in order to ‘free up’ beds to face the crisis, a downtime in care that may have indirectly caused several deaths this spring;
6. the implementation of euthanasia-like protocols;”


In her report, Mrs. Kamel confirmed the fact that negligence and lack of care played an important role in several deaths in CHSLDs during the first wave, without mentioning the harmful effect of the mass media and their share of responsibility for the panic caused, which resulted in unprecedented absenteeism among workers in CHSLDs, frightened by a virus that threatens mainly the elderly.
Mrs. Kamel also stated that there seemed to be a directive circulating among managers in various institutions that clients in long-term care facilities should not be admitted to hospital. Although no such directive was apparently communicated, there was nevertheless a desire to minimize hospital visits, to limit the spread of the virus in these critical locations. This directive to avoid transfers to hospital for elderly people in long-term care facilities was interpreted by many as an order not to provide more extensive care than comfort or palliative care in cases of influenza-like illness. This led, in the opinion of Dr. Vinh Kim Nguyen, mentioned in the report, to the administration of a kind of “euthanasia without quotation marks in seniors who could have been saved by hospitalization without delay”. In short, in several cases, elderly people who could have been saved were euthanized, with the virus marked down on the record as the official cause of death.
The Coroner’s conclusion is, I must say, a bit disappointing, but quite predictable: The CHSLDs would have been in the “blind spot” of the preparations for the pandemic, preparations that would have privileged the hospitals at the expense of the CHSLDs, leaving the latter completely deprived of resources and therefore submerged by the “first wave.” She did not in any way retain our hypothesis, certainly much more controversial, which we made known to her through another open letter:

“all over the world, including in Quebec, health authorities ‘unvaccinated’ against the influence of vaccine manufacturers, issued as early as March 13, 2020, in their respective regions, directives, protocols, policies, which we knew would produce panic effects and collapse of certain long-term-care settings, thus causing the death of vulnerable people already living daily at the threshold of death. Here at home, the news of these deaths of vulnerable people, falsely labelled ‘COVID’ by an overwhelmed and clueless hospital workforce, was then transmitted to the mass media, which did not hesitate to display it in red on every screen in Quebec. The demand for a lifesaving vaccine was thus artificially created, a demand that the pharmaceutical saviours were quick to fill, to the great delight of their shareholders. Unlike in 2009, almost no one today dares to call COVID-19 a ‘pseudo-pandemic,’ as this disease is responsible, in the minds of many, for thousands of deaths in Quebec, thanks to the slaughter in long-term care facilities.”

It is true that Mrs. Kamel had neither the resources nor the mandate to confirm or deny such a hypothesis. It is too big. Perhaps even the independent Commission so desired by some would not be able to deal with such a crime, because the actors behind such a plot would be located for the most part at levels even higher than our provincial authorities. Moreover, we should add the fact that not only were euthanasia-like protocols put in place and hospitalization prevented, but that the use of therapies against covid, such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, which could have been administered, even as a preventive measure, in environments such as CHSLDs, was also prevented by an unparalleled smear campaign.
None of this is mentioned in Mrs. Kamel’s report. No, we must believe that here in Quebec, as everywhere else in the world, only a “Nuremberg” like trial will be able to shed light on this tragic episode in our collective life.

Editor's note: This article first appeared in french at Campagne Quebec-Vie here. It has been translated and posted on Campaign Life Coalition with the author's permission.