Laval health-care worker charged with manslaughter in connection with man’s death after surgery

Laval police have charged a health-care worker in connection with a man’s death after a surgery.

Isabelle Desormeau, 52, faces one count of manslaughter, Laval police said in a news release on Tuesday.

The victim, an 84-year-old man, died after a surgery at Cité-de-la-Santé hospital in Laval on Nov. 1, 2019.

After the surgery, the police began to investigate the circumstances surrounding the man’s death.

Desormeau was working as an anesthesiologist at the time, according to police.

Details from a police search warrant, presented to Quebec Superior Court as part of a related case, outline what investigators say happened the day the victim died.

The details have not been tested in court. They allege the victim was undergoing surgery on Nov. 1, 2019, with Desormeau present in the operating room.

During the operation, the surgeon determined that the victim’s health had deteriorated to the point that he was unlikely to live beyond the next few days or hours.

After the surgeon left the operating room, two nurses witnessed Desormeau remove the victim’s breathing tube, even though he was still under sedation, and inject him with medication, according to the search warrant presented in court.

The two nurses complained to the hospital staff, but Desormeau confirmed that his actions were palliative in nature and intended to relieve the victim’s suffering.

Desormeau has since resigned from the Quebec College of Physicians. She is no longer a practicing anesthesiologist.

The search warrant was presented to the court as part of a request from Laval police. They wanted to access sealed files about a complaint that was filed with the Quebec College of Physicians.

A judge denied the police request.

Desormeau was arrested, but has been released, police said. She will next appear in court on April 21.

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