Indigenous man dies in Quebec hospital after overhearing racist remarks

Georges-Herve Awashish died in the Chicoutimi Hospital after he said he overheard nurses making racist comments directed towards him. SOURCE Maylene Weizineau

By Daniel J. Rowe, CTV Montreal

MONTREAL — Two weeks after Joyce Echaquan's death sparked national outrage and a major investigation, a second investigation is underway at a Quebec hospital after an Indigenous man died after telling family members he heard staff making racist remarks as he lay on his deathbed.

Atikamekw man Georges-Herve Awashish from the Obedjiwan community told his cousin that he heard nurses at the Chicoutimi Hospital making racist remarks last week as received dialysis treatment.

The 53-year-old man died Oct. 11.

"This hospital is very fishy that you can die overnight like that. We are not safe during the night," said Maylene Weizineau. "They administered morphine to him overnight, and was he closely monitored for hours after he wrote to his son that night to tell him they gave him morphine and when his son arrived in the morning at 7 a.m., he was already dead."

The CIUSSS du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean confirmed last week that an investigation into Awashish's death is underway.

"We are in the process of gathering the information and validating the facts. We are currently waiting for the results of the investigation," communications spokesperson Romane le Gallou said in an email. "If such a situation were proven to be true, it is clear to our establishment that this is a shocking and unacceptable event." 

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