An indigenous woman was belittled by hospital staff and called “stupid” moments before she passed away.
Canada-based Joyce Echaquan was an Atikamekw woman from Joliette, Quebec, who was demeaned by the staff of the hospital where she sought help moments before dying.
In a Facebook Live video that the patient managed to take during her final moments, the staff was heard insulting the woman and calling her “stupid.”
After Echaquan passed away and the video went viral, outraged members of the public have called for justice and disciplinary actions against the staff involved in belittling the patient.
Following the incident, two separate investigations have been launched. Besides the coroner’s investigation, the Quebec authorities have also launched a probe of their own.
According to the recent updates, a nurse involved in the matter has already been dismissed pending investigation.
In the heartbreaking live video taken by the mother-of-seven, she was reportedly called “stupid as hell” by one of the hospital workers.
Another staff member then proceeded to belittle her by saying she made bad choices in life and questioning what her children would think of her if they saw her.
“The statements that are made are not going to be tolerated. Those are of a racist nature. We will not tolerate racism in any given form toward Indigenous women,” Quebec Native Women’s VP Mary Hannaburg expressed after the footage went viral.
While Quebec Premier François Legault also confirmed that the incident was “not acceptable,” he suggested that the case was not linked to racism.
“I really don’t think that we have this kind of way of dealing with First Nations people in our hospitals in Quebec,” the premier said.
As Carol Dubé, Joyce’s husband, revealed, his wife died two days after being sent to the hospital for stomach ache.
Breaking into tears, the father-of-seven added that the staff degraded his wife and that seven kids now no longer have a mother.
“I hope the inquiry will show who is responsible,” Dubé added in an interview with CBC News. “After the Viens Commission, we see that things aren’t moving for us… What are we waiting for?”
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