Tuesday, October 4, 2016

From: Julie Ali < Date: Tue, Oct 4, 2016 at 4:51 PM Subject: Re: autopsy report To: JUST OCME Admin Hi, I have looked at these forms. 1) Can you only order an autopsy result if you are the next of kin? If you are a third party (interested citizen) how can you obtain a copy? 2) Can you waive fees for this case as it is in the public interest to know what happened to this child -something that was not revealed to us in much detail in the fatality report because the judge did not go into detail. 3) You haven't told me how to get the transcript of the court proceedings for either the fatality hearing or the criminal case. Sincerely, Julie Ali


https://www.justice.alberta.ca/programs_services/fatality/ocme/Pages/DeathInvestigations.aspx

Death investigation process at the OCME

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) investigates any sudden unexpected or unexplained death in Alberta.
Our investigation process is normally made up of 5 steps. Paper-based file reviews don’t follow these steps:

1. Scene of death review

At the scene of death, an OCME medical investigator:
  • interviews witnesses and next of kin who are already at the scene
  • obtains the deceased's demographic information
  • records the deceased's medical history
  • takes photographs of the deceased and the scene
  • gathers circumstantial information about how the death occurred
  • collects any items that may be relevant to determining the cause of death
If an OCME medical investigator isn't at the scene of death, we may have asked the on-scene police to investigate the cause and manner of someone's death on our behalf.
If someone dies in a hospital, we may review the place that they were initially found.

Personal property

The OCME may seize some of the deceased’s personal property during the course of an investigation. This is logged and stored at one of our secure offices.
After finishing our investigation:
  • we return the property to the funeral home chosen by the next of kin – when the body is released
  • you may collect the property at our office
Note: We may keep the property for a longer period of time, depending on the investigation.
If you have questions about personal property that’s been seized by the OCME, contact the medical investigator assigned to your case.
If a death is a homicide or suspicious in nature, the personal property may be held by the investigating municipal / federal police force until they’ve finished their criminal investigation.

2. Body transportation

If a medical investigator has reviewed the scene of death and spoken to witnesses and family members, they may decide that the deceased should be transported to one of our OCME offices for physical examination. When this occurs, we use body transportation firms to safely and compassionately move the deceased.

3. Body identification

OCME medical examiners – available 24/7/365 – make every effort to positively identify bodies as fast as is reasonably possible. Body identification may occur at the scene of death.
A body can be brought to the OCME if its identity is unknown.
To identify a body, a death investigator asks the person making the identification questions about themselves and how they know the deceased. Then the investigator may ask them to:
  • view the deceased’s body at the scene of death – if they’re present at the time
  • attend an OCME office to view a CCTV image of the deceased
  • view a photograph of the deceased
To help identify a body, we may also:
  • use the deceased’s scars and tattoos
  • use circumstantial evidence
  • take the deceased’s fingerprints
  • do laboratory tests
  • take x-rays (eg, compare with an old bony injury, surgical hardware, dental records)

4. Examination

An OCME medical examiner decides to do an external exam or an autopsy on the deceased’s body based on:
  • their medical history
  • the circumstances of their death
  • an initial review of their body
If you – as a family member – object to a full autopsy being done on the deceased, let the medical investigator assigned to your case know as soon as possible. Your wishes will be taken into consideration and weighed against our goal of maintaining the examination’s integrity.

Organ and tissue donation

Family requests to donate the deceased’s organs and tissue should be made to the medical investigator assigned to the case as soon as possible.
This request will be:
  • assessed by the medical examiner
  • taken into consideration and weighed against our goal of maintaining the examination’s integrity

Examination processes

The post-mortem examination – a physical review of the deceased’s body – by an OCME medical examiner consists of one of these processes:

External examination

This is a systematic review of the body, where:
  • it’s assessed for signs of natural disease and evidence of injury
  • x-rays, toxicology sampling and a partial internal cavity review may be done

Autopsy examination

This is an external examination of the body, followed by a detailed dissection, where:
  • the body is inspected for signs of disease and trauma.
  • small pieces of tissue of major organs and bodily fluids may be sampled for microscope examination or chemical / biological tests.
  • a whole organ like a heart or brain may be retained for further tests
The autopsy examination process can take several hours to complete. Post-mortem examinations are only conducted on weekdays.

5. After the examination

The OCME releases the body to the funeral home chosen by the next of kin – once we can confirm the body’s identity.
A death investigator contacts the next of kin to discuss the findings of the investigation so far. If the case is suspicious in nature, the amount of information discussed may be limited due to the need to maintain the integrity of an ongoing criminal investigation.
The medical examiner then completes documents related to the investigation. This process can take some time because we’ll need to complete either:
  • additional laboratory investigations
  • further paper-based review of medical records and other reports
Due to the volume of cases that OCME medical examiners work on, the current completion time for death investigations can routinely be greater than 6 months.

Once the investigation is complete, the medical examiner has the authority to issue proof of death documents and other death-related documents.

https://www.justice.alberta.ca/programs_services/fatality/ocme/Pages/DeathRelatedDocuments.aspx

Death-related documents

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) has the authority to issue proof of death documents when it investigates a death.

Death Certificate

The OCME doesn’t issue death certificates to the public. They’re only issued through Alberta registry agents.
After completing a post-mortem examination or an acceded case file review, a medical examiner fills out a death certificate that explains the deceased’s cause and manner of death. This death certificate is then given to a funeral home of the next of kin’s choosing – to allow for burial or cremation – and a further copy is sent to Vital Statistics.
If the OCME needs to wait for work to be finished – like reviewing traffic collision reports, medical records, lab test results and tissue samples – we’ll list ‘pending investigation’ as the cause and manner of death on the death certificate. When our investigation is done, we’ll fill out the final death certificate.

OCME-issued documents

Depending on the type of post-mortem examination or paper-based file review that the OCME medical examiner does, we may issue a number of different documents:
  • Certificate of Medical Examiner
  • External Examination Report
  • Summary Autopsy Report
  • Detailed Scientific Autopsy Report
  • Toxicology Report
Note: Not all these documents may be available for your specific case file.

Certificate of Medical Examiner

This document is often required by institutions such as banks, insurance companies and legal firms before the deceased’s claims and other dispositions can be settled.
The Certificate of Medical Examiner is similar but different than these documents:
  • Death Certificate
  • Attending Physician Statement (not filled out by the OCME)

External Examination Report

When a medical examiner does an external examination of the deceased, a written record is made of the findings.

Autopsy Examination documents

When a medical examiner performs an autopsy on the deceased, 2 documents are always produced:
  • Summary Autopsy Report – describes the autopsy’s findings and conclusions in plain language
  • Detailed Scientific Autopsy Report – describes the autopsy’s findings and diagnostic conclusions with medical terminology

Toxicology Report

When toxicology tests are done on the deceased, a written record is made of the findings.
The deceased’s next of kin or an authorized third party can request documents relevant to the deceased’s OCME case file. If you’re unsure which documents are available for your case file, contact the medical investigator or the records unit at the OCME office where the investigation was done.

Ordering OCME-issued documents

To order an document – as a next of kin – fill in the Request to Access Information form - 26 KB Download Adobe Acrobat Reader .
To authorize a third party to receive a document, fill in the Consent to Disclose Information form - 38 KB Download Adobe Acrobat Reader .



From: Julie Ali <
Date: Tue, Oct 4, 2016 at 4:51 PM
Subject: Re: autopsy report
To: JUST OCME Admin <OCME_Admin@gov.ab.ca>


Hi,
I have looked at these forms.

1) Can you only order an autopsy result if you are the next of kin? If you are a third party (interested citizen) how can you obtain a copy?
2) Can you waive fees for this case as it is in the public interest to know what happened to this child -something that was not revealed to us in much detail in the fatality report because the judge did not go into detail.
3) You haven't told me how to get the transcript of the court proceedings for either the fatality hearing or the criminal case.

Sincerely,
Julie Ali

On Tue, Oct 4, 2016 at 1:09 PM, JUST OCME Admin <OCME_Admin@gov.ab.ca> wrote:
Hello, you may find our website helpful as it has links for the forms required to request documents
Ordering OCME-issued documents
To order an document – as a next of kin – fill in the Request to Access Information form - 26 KB Download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
To authorize a third party to receive a document, fill in the Consent to Disclose Information form - 38 KB Download Adobe Acrobat Reader.


From: Julie Ali
Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2016 12:35 PM
To: JUST OCME Admin
Subject: autopsy report

Hi,

1) How do I obtain the autopsy report associated with this fatality report:




Report to the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General - Public inquiry into the death of J'Lyn Michelle Cardinal 

June 02, 2016

On January 13, 2009, Edmonton Police Service communications received a call from Emergency 
Medical Services, indicating that emergency medical officers were at a residence where a five 
year old child was found deceased in a bedroom. 
This child was J’Lyn Cardinal, and as it was further investigated, it was determined that her actual age was four years old. 
When police members responded to the home, they noted the victim lying face up on a bedroom floor, and she was wearing only a diaper. The deceased had bruising throughout her entire body, and dried blood by her nose and mouth. As well, there was blood on the pillow of the bed, on the bed itself and the bedroom floor. The autopsy report concluded that, in addition to the external contusions and abrasions, the deceased had two fractured ribs, was dehydrated and a lethal head injury caused her death. J’Lyn Cardinal was found dead by Emergency Medical personnel 
at 0824 hours on January 13, 2009. 
 Report – Page 3 of 6
LS0338 (2014/05) 
S.D.C., during the initial police interview, provided no realistic explanation for J’Lyn’s injuries but came to admit, over time, that she was the person responsible for these injuries which led to the death. S.D.C. was charged with second degree murder, with an offence time frame between January 10, 2009 to January 13, 2009. S.D.C. pleaded guilty to manslaughter by way of an Agreed Statement of Facts, in the Court of Queen’s Bench, on October 22, 2010. She received, essentially, a penitentiary sentence of seven and a half years. 

2) How do I get a copy of the fatality inquiry transcript?

3) How do I get a copy of the court of Queen's Bench proceedings for October 22, 2010 for S.D.C.'s case? 


Sincerely,
Julie Ali


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