Disturbing testimony at naturopath's trial
Published Wednesday, February 22, 2012 11:08PM EST
MONTREAL - After Roger Matern died a day after undergoing treatment at a Westmount naturopathic clinic in 2004, coroners seized several vials of magnesium and other mineral supplements which the 84-year-old received intravenously.
At Mitra Javanmardi's trial on Wednesday, the Westmount naturopath facing allegations of manslaughter, a Health Canada microbiologist testified that the vials were heavily contaminated by bacteria.
According to Julie Bellemare, a vial of L-Carnitine nutritional supplement was contaminated with pantoea bacteria at a level she had never seen before. The bacteria can trigger severe illnesses.
The prosecution at the trial argued that Javanmardi was negligent when she injected the contaminated substance during Matern's treatments.
According to witnesses in the trial, Javanmardi gave Matern an intravenous injection of magnesium at which point he started feeling violently ill. Matern died at the St. Luc hospital the next day, June 13, 2008.
When Matern began to develop symptoms, Javanmardi allegedly told his family that he was simply having a reaction because his sugar was too low.
The victim's daughter was so upset by the findings that she left the courtroom in tears.
The biologist could not explain when or how the content of the vial became contaminated, a factor which the defence plans to use in fighting the criminal charge.