PSW tells patient to die, family fears province watering down abuse case

Elizabeth Payne, The Ottawa Citizen

Diana Pepin is visibly shaken as she watches the video she has seen numerous times.

In it, a personal support worker is preparing her severely disabled mother for bed in her room at the city-run Peter D. Clark long-term care home. The worker leans in and is heard saying: “Die, die ya bitch, you need to die now.” That is just one of a series of disturbing video clips recorded over about a month last August and September on a camera the family installed. In them, among other things, Pepin’s 85-year-old mother is taunted by a support worker who says in a sing-song voice to “die, die, die,” and asks: “Why it take you so long to die?” Pepin’s mother, who is unable to walk, talk or feed herself, wept when her daughter told her the personal support workers involved in the series of verbal assaults no longer worked for the long-term care home and “they will never be able to do this to you again.” But Pepin and her lawyer Daniel Nassrallah fear the lack of criminal charges in the case and a “watered down” report on the incidents by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care could put other vulnerable residents in institutional care at risk. This newspaper has previously written about the contents of one of the videos, but did not have access to all of them. Pepin, who is a retired nurse, said she was “flabbergasted” when she learned last month that police, who had been investigating the incidents, would not lay criminal charges. In a statement, Ottawa police did not say why charges weren’t laid but said elder abuse charges can fall under property crimes, such as theft and fraud, or personal crimes, such as assault, threats and failing to provide the necessities of life.

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