Coroner investigating death of St. Mary's patient
Published Friday, January 15, 2016 11:50AM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 15, 2016 6:34PM EST
The death of a Montrealer who was refused surgery at St. Mary's Hospital continues to create disagreement among those involved.
Now the coroner's office has announced it will further investigate the death of Mark Blandford.
A spokesperson for the coroner's office said when the case made headlines this week, the head coroner informed the office that Blandford's death should and will be the subject of an investigation.
On Nov. 2, 2015 a patient who has now been identified as filmmaker Mark Blandford arrived at the hospital complaining of abdominal pain which turned out to be from a rupture in his aorta.
Vascular surgeon Carl Emond said he could have performed the surgery, but that he had been informed by administrators several months earlier that he was no longer permitted to perform this type of procedure at St. Mary's.
Earlier this week Benoit Morin, director of the West Island Integrated Health Centre which oversees the hospital, said that was false, and that Emond had never been denied permission to perform vascular surgery, and that Emond's privileges are still intact.
Morin said a written directive to transfer certain vascular cases from St. Mary's to tertiary care centres was only on Nov. 12, ten days after Blandford's death.
On Friday a source at St. Mary's Hospital disagreed, and said that despite what Morin had said, Dr. Emond had been informed by health administrators he was not permitted to perform that type of surgery.
Blandford ended up being transferred to the Royal Vic at the Glen (the MUHC superhospital) in unstable condition, and died before he could receive treatment.
On Thursday Claire Roy of the West Island Integrated Health Centre informed CTV Montreal that the agency would no longer comment on the Blandford case until its review was complete.
Blandford's son, Laurence, is still trying to come to terms with his father's death.
"We are devastated by what happened. We do not understand why we had to learn about the situation through the Gazette's reporting. We are still seeking the facts of this case. Until we have a clearer picture of what exactly transpired, we will have no further comment," wrote Laurence.
Blandford was named A Great Montrealer in 1983, and had a lengthy career as a producer of television programming, working in both English and French.
He produced multiple documentaries including The October Crisis, Chasing Rainbows, and televised versions of Balconville.