Family accuses hospital of racism in death of mother

Montreal, Quebec

 Demands  Coroner’s investigation

Mildred German

“My mom was abandoned and neglected,” Candida Macarine’s daughter Gilda told a news conference Monday holding back  tears in her eyes. Gilda is a nurse herself in Montreal. “What happened to my mom was the result of wilful and gross neglect,” she said. “My mom was old, nobody was with her, no family was around her at the time.”

The family of Candida Macarine, the 86 year old Filipina elder who was found dead beside her bed in a negative pressure isolation room in a Montreal hospital, is asking the coroner’s office to launch an investigation.

Macarine was brought to the Lakeshore General Hospital and was admitted on the night of February 26 due to respiratory distress, and died February 27. The family was at peace that she died of cardiac arrest as initially thought, and without knowing more information about her death. Macarine’s family heard nothing from the hospital or the local health agency about how Macarine died.

However, only after noticing and connecting the dots from a CBC news story, that the family realized that the woman found “dead and ice cold” on the floor beside her bed in the hospital was likely their mother.

“The worst and most devastating thing was that we were only guessing and analyzing from the news that this was our mother,” Placido Macarine, Candida’s son, said during an online news conference Monday.

The hospital had launched an internal probe but refused to confirm to the family that Macarine was the patient found on the floor.

Macarine’s death in a negative pressure isolation room in the hospital’s emergency room highlighted the fact that she was put into a room which was difficult to see and monitor patients.

“Is it because we are Asians that they just put us aside and we’re not worthy of their attention? This is racism. I took it like that”, Placido Macarine, one of Candida Macarine’s sons, said.

No faith in hospital investigation

Macarine’s family accuses the hospital of racism, and says they no longer have faith in an internal investigation being conducted at Lakeshore General Hospital.

“From February 27 until today March 22, nothing was done — not a single word of explanation nor apology,” Placido Macarine explained. “This is clearly for me racial discrimination. This is racism.”

A  Montreal’s West Island  Health Agency statement did not explain why the family was never told of the circumstances of Macarine’s death, but “has admitted its communications were lacking and ‘incomplete’ with the family of a woman who was found dead last month on the floor of a room in the emergency department of Lakeshore General Hospital in Pointe-Claire, Que.,” CBC reported. According to the statement, Montreal’s West Island’s CEO Lynne McVey has written and offered support to the Macarine family. s-with-family-were-incomplete-after-woman-found-dead-in-er/ar-BB1eSK0C

But the Macarine family is not impressed with the statement and says that it is not enough.

“No, no, I’m sorry, but for me it’s not an apology,” Macarine said, adding that the family has no plans to meet with McVey at the moment and said they would prefer to deal with the coroner’s office.

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