Advocates for the ill ask Quebec ministers to respect seniors' rights

The Conseil pour la protection des malades (CPM) has sent a letter to Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services Danielle McCann and the minister responsible for Seniors and Caregivers, Marguerite Blais, asking for respect for the fundamental rights of residents in long-term care accommodation centres (CHSLD), as in other health-care establishments.

In the letter dated Friday, May 15, the organization indicated that it has received hundreds of complaints under current circumstances from citizens and the 200 user committees it represents, referring to the imposed confinement for vulnerable seniors to protect them from the COVID-19 pandemic.

These people in confinement claim that their right to freedom of movement must be respected, so they can leave a CHSLD with the required precautions and join their families.

The CPM also asks ministers McCann and Blais to ensure that residents are adequately nourished and hydrated, and not to leave them in layers of soiled sheets for hours or days, and especially not to abandon them to die alone.

These requests would have been unimaginable before the appearance of the novel coronavirus, but the last two months of the pandemic have demonstrated that such unfortunate situations have occured in Quebec.

The letter also calls for a safe environment for caregivers, subjecting them to the same hygiene measures as caregivers in hospitals and giving them a COVID-19 test.

The council for the protection of the sick finally wishes to have access to the people it defends to document information on possible cases of negligence and abuse.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2020.


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