Autopsy pics of children in car crash resurface amid Ontario inquest row

This article is over 1 month old

Photographs published by an online news service and newspaper have raised questions about what is known about deaths in a car crash, in a tunnel, after a top pathologist made an appearance

Photographs of injured children in a car crash have resurfaced amid claims of a lack of information about their deaths in an Ontario tunnel.

Namsu Mohamud’s $500,000 lawsuit against the Ontario government, the Ontario medical examiner’s office and six unnamed defendants is ongoing.

The mother of 11-year-old Abdilah Abdel-Ghani was critical of the system that allowed the Ontario public pathologist Dr Lisa Lapointe to appear at the boy’s inquest last year.

She alleges Lapointe “clicked a switch”, without warning, that allowed her autopsy report to be exempt from public release.

The disbursement system for medical examiner autopsies in Ontario is now being reviewed after a challenge by the provincial auditor general to the terms of a controversial funding deal.

Consultant’s contract represents loss of vital public information, privacy commissioner says Read more

The death of four-year-old Dylan Cunliffe in a drive-by shooting in Ontario in 2007 is also being challenged by the Ontario provincial privacy commissioner. The private pathologist’s autopsy, which was not included in the coroner’s report, reported “bereavement and loss”.

The Ontario Media Fund report, conducted by a team of three consultants, found there was no formal investigation or policies around a doctor’s role in coverage of the inquest.

However, in a document detailing its recommendations on how the coroner’s service conducts its inquests, the service says it intends to address issues raised in the report.

“In a future report, we will carefully consider the evidence that has been submitted and recommend solutions, including future practices as a matter of course,” the document read.

Mohamud says her son’s injuries had been inadequately investigated by a doctor who lacks the experience.

In 2013 she applied for a copy of his autopsy. It was rejected by the coroner’s service, saying there was no reason to release it to her.

This came despite other journalists being given access to the report.

In a response released in July, the coroner’s service said the reason for not releasing it was due to “health and security implications for many individuals involved in public submissions and inquest proceedings”.

When a coroner requests to access and publish the autopsy, the court system must consider the possibility of “serious adverse consequences to a number of individuals associated with the case”.

Leave a Comment