The dad and mom of Lexi Daken say they’re planning their subsequent steps after Horizon Well being Community refused handy over their deceased daughter’s well being information, citing privateness causes.
Lexi, a Grade 10 pupil who had beforehand tried suicide, was taken to the emergency room at Fredericton’s Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital on Feb. 18 by a college steering counsellor who was involved about her psychological well being.
She waited for eight hours with out receiving any psychological well being intervention and left the hospital after she was instructed by a nurse that calling a psychiatrist would take one other two hours.
Lower than per week later, Lexi died by suicide.
On Tuesday, Lexi’s mom, Shawna Betts, went to the hospital to get Lexi’s well being information in order that she might full insurance coverage types.
However after ready about an hour and a half and assembly with three completely different hospital managers, Betts mentioned she was finally instructed they may not give her Lexi’s well being information as a result of Lexi was over 16.
“They mentioned it was due to the Privateness Act, and that their fingers had been tied.”
Betts mentioned she was shocked.
“I could not imagine it,” she mentioned. “I mentioned, ‘So I am unable to get my very own child’s file? Is that what you are telling me?’ “
Finally, she mentioned, hospital managers took a duplicate of her insurance coverage type and mentioned they might full it for her.
“So I did not even get the title of the physician [who was on call] the night time of Lexi’s go to.”
At this level, Betts mentioned, she was “escorted to the door” by hospital workers, with out the well being information she’d come for and with out getting the data she wanted to finish her insurance coverage type.
Coming after weeks of an ordeal that has appeared limitless, Betts mentioned, “that was an excessive amount of.”
“That upset me. I instructed them ‘This is not over. I is perhaps leaving right here with out my daughter’s information, however I’m going to get them.’ “
Requested for touch upon Wednesday, Horizon Well being Community didn’t handle specifics of Betts’s go to or its causes for declining her request for Lexi’s information.
Generally, Horizon’s chief privateness officer Kelly Chase mentioned, “the discharge of well being information is set in accordance with our established insurance policies and procedures, and in accordance with the provisions of the Private Well being Data Privateness and Entry Act.”
Evaluate will assist, however public inquiry additionally wanted, mother says
Betts mentioned she has requested the province’s Youngster, Youth and Seniors Advocate to acquire the well being information as part of his review of mental health crisis services, introduced final week within the wake of Lexi’s suicide.
She has additionally spoken together with her lawyer launching a civil go well with in opposition to Horizon, which might oblige it handy over the information.
However finally, Betts mentioned, an inquiry, which might name witnesses to testify publicly about what occurred that night time on the emergency room, is required.
“I do know [Child, Youth and Seniors Advocate] Norm Bossé needs to do his evaluation, and that’s actually essential,” Betts mentioned.
“We would like change. However we additionally need individuals to know why we wish change. We would like transparency, accountability — and we wish individuals to know that that wasn’t only a dangerous night time for the hospital.”
Horizon legally justified in denying entry: legislation prof
Whereas being denied entry to their daughter’s well being information is one other painful sting for the household, the well being authority is legally justified in denying that entry, in accordance with College of New Brunswick affiliate legislation professor Hilary Younger.
Younger mentioned the Private Well being Data Privateness and Entry Act requires consent to reveal private well being data, together with well being information — even when the particular person has died.
“There isn’t a exception made for deceased individuals, besides after 50 years or for the needs of notifying members of the family of the loss of life,” Younger mentioned.
Younger conceded it is “a tough line to attract,” noting that folks typically assume dad and mom must be allowed entry to youngsters’s medical information, notably when psychological well being or addictions are at problem.
“On the one hand, that is sensible,” Younger mentioned. “However alternatively, as soon as I am an grownup, my dad and mom shouldn’t be capable of finding out whether or not I’ve had an abortion, whether or not I’ve HIV, whether or not I am depressed, and so forth.”
Lexi’s household might decide to sue the province, during which case the information may need to be disclosed as a part of the litigation course of, however in any other case, Younger mentioned, “the legislation is working because it ought to.”
“Lexi’s well being information are non-public and her dad and mom usually are not entitled to breach her privateness, even after loss of life.”
IF YOU NEED HELP:
CHIMO hotline: 1-800-667-5005 / http://www.chimohelpline.ca
Youngsters Assist Cellphone: 1-800-668-6868
Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566.