Ontario Nurses' Association Demands Action: Coroner's Jury Recommendations Must be Implemented

    TORONTO, Dec. 11 /CNW/ - Members of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA)
are looking for quick implementation of the recommendations made by the
Coroner's Jury examining the workplace murder of Lori Dupont, RN and
subsequent suicide of her attacker, Dr. Marc Daniel.
    The jury in Windsor returned today with its recommendations to prevent
similar incidents in the future. ONA is thrilled that the jury considered all
of the concerns raised by ONA, particularly the recommendation that there be a
review of Ontario's Public Hospitals Act and Occupational Health and Safety
Act. As well, ONA is pleased that the jury recommended that the review
consider including emotional or psychological harm as a safety issue in the
    "We're delighted with the comprehensive and thoughtful recommendations
made by the coroner's jury," says Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, ONA President. "ONA
has said from the start that there is a double standard for nurses and
doctors, and this clearly emerged during the coroner's inquest. We want
immediate action to implement these recommendations, to ensure that physicians
who act out can be called on their behavior, just as nurses are. A review of
the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Public Hospitals Act is needed."
    Haslam-Stroud says ONA members were "absolutely horrified" by the murder
of Lori Dupont. During the 10-week inquest, testimony revealed that numerous
hospital managers were aware of the prolonged, serious misconduct of the
anaesthesiologist, not just toward Lori Dupont but aimed at others as well. It
was revealed that Daniel had a long history of inappropriate outbursts of
anger, of aggression and of sexually harassing nurses at work. Daniel had
broken expensive operating room equipment, had broken the finger of another
nurse in the OR, and had been a disruptive presence in front of patients.
    "Hotel-Dieu allowed a culture to exist in which Daniel was able to
continue to behave outrageously," says Haslam-Stroud. "By failing to confront
Daniel, they allowed the behavior to escalate. Lori paid the price for the
culture of physician dominance that continues in Ontario's health care
facilities, that allows the double standard to continue for doctors."
    ONA believes this culture of physician dominance that continues at
Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital is far from unique. Effective action has to be taken
now to change the culture at healthcare institutions across the province and
provide a safer work environment for front-line workers.
    "Nothing can bring Lori Dupont back," acknowledges Haslam-Stroud. "But if
these recommendations are implemented - quickly - then perhaps there can be
something positive come from this tragedy. ONA will work to ensure these
recommendations aren't forgotten or ignored, but implemented. We'll also
continue our efforts to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act - the
safety of our nurses and other front-line care providers depends on it."

    ONA is the union representing 53,000 front-line registered nurses and
allied health professionals working in Ontario hospitals, long-term care
facilities, public health, the community and industry.

For further information:

For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association, Sheree Bond, (416)
964-8833, ext. 2430, Cellular: (416) 986-8240

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