Death of Andrée Simard: no breach of ethics, concludes a report

D&eacute ;cès d’Andrée Simard: no breach of ethics, concludes a report

Andrée Simard, wife of Robert Bourassa. Undetermined date between 1970 and 1990.

The death of Robert Bourassa's widow, Andrée Simard, which occurred on November 29, 2022 at St. Mary's Hospital Center, was not caused by “ethical breaches by the medical team”, concluded the investigation report of the College of Physicians.

A chain of unfavorable circumstances would rather be the cause of the death of the nonagenarian.

“The change of attending physician, the lack of clarity regarding the substitute decision-maker, the misalignment of family expectations, effective but insufficient communication with the family during weekend call, staff ill-equipped to respond to expectations of the family and the needs of Ms. Simard, all these elements have combined to make the situation difficult”, lists the document of which TVA Nouvelles obtained a copy.

The report strives to underline the determining role of the training of staff required to provide care to patients at the end of life and the need to have “sufficient competent resources”. The file also includes multiple recommendations. The College of Physicians took note of these at the end of last April.

Following the death of Andrée Simard – whose circumstances had been revealed to La Presse through a letter from Michelle Bourassa last January – the Quebec Society of Palliative Care Physicians (SQMDSP) had called for “reflecting on access to palliative care, its barriers and its challenges”.

Andrée Simard, who had been deprived of adequate palliative care in twilight of her life, died on November 29, 2022, after several days of suffering.

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