Nunavut calls inquest into three-month-old baby's death

IQALUIT, Nunavut -- Nunavut has called an inquest into the murky circumstances surrounding the death of a three-month-old boy in a remote Arctic community.

See Full Article

The probe into the 2012 death of Makibi Timilak could reveal more about a health system that has been heavily criticized in a previous review into the tragedy.

Although it was ultimately determined the baby died of sudden infant death syndrome, the review found that nurses and health officials failed to follow procedures the night the baby died. It concluded the death was hushed up and found a climate of fear within the health department that prevented problems from being addressed.

On the night of April 4, 2012, Makibi's mother Neevee Akesuk called the health centre in Cape Dorset on the southern tip of Baffin Island to say her baby wouldn't settle and go to sleep. She was advised to bathe Makibi and bring him in the next morning.

Akesuk did so and Makibi appeared to fall peacefully asleep. Several hours later he was rushed unconscious to the health centre and could not be revived.

Questions were raised about the death and the Nunavut government eventually called an external review into it.

That review found the on-duty nurse mishandled Akesuk's original call. All children less than a year old with health problems are supposed to be assessed in person, which wasn't done.

The death was not reported as a critical incident and no investigation was conducted.

The review found health centre staff and department officials glossed over the death and seemed more concerned about protecting themselves than fixing problems. It concluded Cape Dorset's health centre was a troubled workplace long before baby Makibi's death, where bullying prevented concerns from being voiced.

Health department officials didn't help. Written grievances were ignored.

The nurse at the centre of the bullying complaints was the one on duty the night Akesuk called about her son. Her nursing licence was subsequently restricted to prohibit her from treating children younger than 10.

Despite that, she was promoted to supervisor of the centre, where most of the care involves young children.

The review warned problems at Cape Dorset's health centre could be widespread.

"A culture of fear has developed within the government of Nunavut, from the very base of employees and work environments through the hierarchical ladder of authority ... There were a number of instances where health-care workers did not want to be identified when speaking with me for fear of repercussions to their employment," the reviewer wrote.

"It is likely that the experience of both nurses and patients at the Cape Dorset Health Centre is not exclusive to that community."

Some Nunavut politicians raised similar points.

The news that an inquest will beheld comes days after Makibi's parents filed an official request for one. Justice Minister Paul Okalik had promised to call an inquest if they asked.

A date for the inquest has not been announced. It is expected to take place in Cape Dorset.

-- By Bob Weber in Edmonton.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Memorable quotes from Meghan and Harry's Oprah interview

    World News CTV News
    Memorable quotes and major revelations from Oprah Winfrey's interview with Meghan and Harry, their first since stepping away from royal life: "I just didn't want to be alive anymore. And that was very clear and real and frightening. Source
  • Authorities to seek charges after massive party near University of Colorado turned violent

    World News CTV News
    Authorities promised Sunday to pursue criminal charges after a massive party near the University of Colorado in Boulder devolved into a violent confrontation with police that left three officers injured. Hundreds of people flooded the streets in an area known as the Hill on Saturday night and when told to leave threw bottles, rocks and other objects at police and firefighters, police said. Source
  • Meghan says Royal Family had concerns about Archie's skin colour

    World News CBC News
    Meghan said she considered suicide or self-harm during her time with the Royal Family after asking for help but getting none. "I just didn't want to be alive any more. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought. Source
  • Bombshells from royal interview: The most dramatic disclosures from Prince Harry and Meghan

    World News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Prince Harry and Meghan opened up about their life both in and out of the Royal Family during a wide-ranging interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired on Sunday. In the interview, Harry and Meghan spoke about their relationship with the Royal Family, Meghan’s first meeting with Queen Elizabeth and the tensions she’s experienced with the family. Source
  • U.S. and South Korea agree on new cost-sharing deal for troops

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The United States and South Korea have reached agreement in principle on a new arrangement for sharing the cost of the American troop presence, which is intended as a bulwark against the threat of North Korean aggression, both countries announced. Source
  • Meghan says she had suicidal thoughts during royal life in Oprah interview

    World News CBC News
    Meghan said she considered suicide or self-harm during her time with the Royal Family after asking for help but getting none. "I just didn't want to be alive any more. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought. Source
  • Meghan says Royal Family refused to make son a prince due to skin colour

    World News CBC News
    Meghan said she considered suicide or self-harm during her time with the Royal Family after asking for help but getting none. "I just didn't want to be alive any more. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought. Source
  • Are there mussels on your moss balls? Alberta officials warn of tiny invasive species

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- Wildlife officials are sounding the alarm following the discovery of a tiny invader that hitched a ride into Alberta last week. Moss balls, also known as marimos, are a popular item among aquarium lovers and are sold in many pet and plant stores throughout the province. Source
  • At least 15 dead, 400 wounded in Equatorial Guinea blasts

    World News CTV News
    OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO -- A series of explosions at a military barracks in Equatorial Guinea killed at least 15 people and wounded more than 400 others, authorities said. State television TVGE read out a statement from President Teodoro Obiang Nguema which said the explosion was due to the "negligent handling of dynamite" in the military barracks located in the neighbourhood of Mondong Nkuantoma in Bata. Source
  • 'It's been a good week': Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

    Canada News CTV News
    Canada's chief public health officer is expressing hope for the future as the world prepares to mark the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 crisis. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic last March 11, and Dr. Source