Too sick to move, too well to stay

Daughter fights Ottawa Hospital proposal to discharge her bed-ridden, ailing mother

Maria Cook, The Ottawa Citizen

When Barbara Korwin was summoned to the Ottawa Hospital for a meeting about her 89-year-old mother, she was given two options: put her in a retirement home or take the first available nursing-home bed. Korwin, a high-school teacher, refused both. “I think it’s wrong of the hospital to be doing this,” she said. “To put an extremely frail senior in a place where her needs cannot be met, this is a very subtle form of euthanasia.” Her family’s predicament is not unusual, said Jane Meadus, a lawyer with the Toronto-based Advocacy Centre for the Elderly. She has handled 250 complaints about hospital discharge in the past year from across Ontario.