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Abuse & Neglect at Covenant Health, Villa Caritas Geriatric Centre

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November 30, 2012

Dr. Chris Eagle CEO, Alberta Health Services
Office of the President & CEO ?7th Street Plaza ?14th Floor, North Tower
10030 – 107 Street NW ?Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3E4

Chief of Police, Mr. Rod Knecht
Edmonton Police Service,
9620 – 103A Ave.,
Edmonton, Alberta T5H 0H7

The Honourable Mr. Frank Oberle,
Assoc. Minister of Human Services
402 Legislature Office
10800 97 Avenue

Edmonton, AB. T5K 2B6

Complaint Reference: MICHELLE JASONSON, Public Guardian Representative, Office of the Public Guardian

Re: ___ detained since December 2009, Covenant Health Villa Caritas Geriatric Mental Hospital, Edmonton, AB.
Admitted to Alberta Hospital Edmonton, Bldg. # 12, 2009, then transferred to Covenant Health, Villa Caritas.

Throughout this matter, we shall refer to _____ as the client.



Our complaint against the Public Guardian chronicles cruelty, bullying, abuse, threats, neglect and deliberate isolation, inhumane treatment. Throughout, the alleged “care and support” of the Office of the Public Guardian, the client has been subjected to mental and physical abuse, elder abuse.

The client has suffered total neglect and malpractice by professional staff. She is kept in a state of perpetual fear, fear of being disciplined, fear of being subjected to takedowns and fear of being subjected to forced (psychotropic) injections.

This fear is intensified by the fact that she sees first hand, old, helpless people who are walker and wheel chair dependent, frail elderly, defenceless people who are cognitively impaired, alzheimer patients, who are unable to understand what is happening to them, but who are subjected to disciplining, takedowns, drugs, needles and violence.

The client has been informed by psychiatrists and nursing staff that she will never leave Villa Caritas for the reason that it is the only facility “suitable” for her.

This lawful, taxpaying senior, (and the client pays a lot of taxes) has never been in trouble with the law, is being denied human rights, citizenship rights and Charter Rights, all under the guise of protection.


The Guardian:

  • Fails to exercise her authority in the best interests of the client.
  • Fails to convey important decisions to the client made by the guardian for the client.
  • Fails to act in the least intrusive and least restrictive manner that is likely to be effective.
  • Fails to act diligently
  • Fails to act in good faith
  • Fails to be responsible for the client’s well being and safety.
  • Fails to authorize, provide ethical, medical health care
  • Authorizes contraindicated medication
  • Fosters deception
  • Fosters neglect
  • Fails to respond to complaints of theft
  • Fails to act in a way that encourages the client and caregivers the probability of discharge from the faciity.
  • Fails to act in the least intrusive and least restrictive manner that is likely to be effective.
  • Fails to properly diagnose a condition
  • Fails to promptly respond to symptoms
  • Fails to insure the provision of professional counselling / therapy
  • Fails to provide guardianship plan.
  • Fails to foster dignity and respect for the client
  • Demonstrates disregard and disrespect for the client.
  • Treats the client with rudeness, disrespect and disregard.
  • Fosters violence, assault
  • The Guardian demonstrates disregard for the client’s virulent, disabling and even deadly infection and
  • fails to direct and then monitor that the client receive indicated, ethical, medical care. However the guardian actively authorizes,
  • the use of medication to mentally disable the client prior to a court hearing
  • the forceful administration of contraindicated medication.
  • Disregards her duty of care to the client.


  • Obsessive compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Cellulitis
  • It is difficult to understand why the guardian & medical personnel are detaining a totally cognitive senior with a diagnosis of OCD behind locked doors on a filthy ward.
  • It is even more difficult to understand why they are treating the senior harshly as if the hapless senior were a criminal in a maximum security prison (all at our taxpayer expense).


The client has alleged to us that the following items have been taken from her or have been returned to her damaged:

  • 3 pairs new support Hose, never taken out of package – value $85.00 each (plus GST) total $255.00 (plus GST) (quote Congdons Aids to Daily Living).
  • Winter jacket which she wore upon admission
  • “Nike” navy blue sweater
  • Black Jeans torn off of her during a “takedown”
  • three pairs of Jeans
  • three dress shirts, western style blouses with embroidery.
  • nail clipper and other personal items
  • Prescription glasses which were returned to her in two pieces after a “takedown”
  • bank books, driver’s license, AMA card, etc. all of the client’s private business, personal, and health information. It is not known who has access to this information and how it is stored.


  1. Since May, the client has been disallowed our one hourly, weekly visit.
  2. July 2012, she was denied all phone privileges, was disallowed to make or receive phone calls.
  3. The client was then restricted to make phone calls only during the half hour between 9:00 PM and 9:30 PM. This disallowed her to make business calls, such as calls to her financial planner at her bank.
  4. After June 2012, the client was disciplined and
  5. even more radically isolated,
  6. totally confined to the unit,
  7. not allowed to attend church services, recreation activities Bingo,
  8. for the reason that she reported to us the nightly assaults / takedowns on fellow senior, Keith Oswald.
  9. The takedowns commenced on June 26, 2012. for six nights. Oswald was seized, subjected to needle injections and then detained in the locked “quiet room” where, heavily sedated, he spent the nights on a mattress. He has had a tooth broken by this protocol.
  10. In November of 2011, Oswald was detained for fourteen days on a mattress in the locked room “quiet room”. Sometimes he was denied water or food for periods of time (he is diabetic). He was subjected to sedation by needles, lights on 24/7. At that time we failed to report this horrific, unwarranted assault.
  11. We have not been allowed to visit the client since June 2012
  12. The client also reported to us of repeated takedowns of an 80 year old grandmother, whose arm was fractured by a security guard and nursing staff during a takedown.
  13. The client is detained on Unit 2A which the client alleges to be a ward of cognitively impaired seniors, persons who cannot find their own rooms. A lot of them are incontinent. The client tells us that sometimes you sit down and you get a wet seat. Sometimes you see the stain of feces on the chairs and chesterfields. She has told us that this creates serious problems for her because of her OCD.
  14. Furthermore, there is no one to communicate with on the ward. Staff seldom interact with patients. She is virtually isolated.
  15. During her three year detention, the client has hardly ever been allowed out of doors for fresh air.


  1. Without the client’s knowledge, morning April 11th, 2011, (the day of a court hearing, Public Guardian was making Application for guardianship of the client) Dr. Candace Walker, Psychiatrist, wrote the order for the following:
    Loxapine 10 g. po x 1 tab
    Lorazepam 2 mg. x 2 tabs

    1. Loxapine is an antipsychotic medication indicated to treat symptoms of schizophrenia. The client has never been diagnosed as schizophrenic.
    2. 1 mg. of Lorazepam, will cause sedation, muscle relaxation, some memory and concentration impairment. Lorazepam 2 mgs. X 2 tabs is used for sedation. Insomnia is treated with 2 – 4 mgms. @ bedtime.
  2. The client denies that she took these drugs.
  3. Was this medication placed in her breakfast food?
  4. We have documentation, May & June 2010, that she was medicated, without her knowledge. There is a complaint before the College of Physicians & Surgeons in this regard.
  5. Patrick Hartnett RN was the charge nurse that mornin


  1. The client had been refusing psychotropic medication since September 2010 because she said it made her “dizzy”, “confused, foggy” and “high”. She informed us that when she was in this state and then in some way reacted to staff, numbers of male staff would subject her to a “takedown”. In the process, seize her, rip off her jeans, inject her with needles and strongly sedate her; a frightening, brutal dehumanizing protocol to which she, a senior and female, was totally helpless and defenseless to protect herself against.
  2. She has informed us that this barbaric protocol would leave her physically and mentally harmed, injured, her arms blackened, blue and painful and generally feeling bruised.
  3. November 6, 2012 @ 2:30 PM, Without warning, Dr. Kevin Lawless, Psychiatrist and Pat Hartnett RN, abruptly appeared at the client’s door. The client told us later that she had been quietly working on Suduko. Dr. Lawless announced to her that she was about to be subjected to an injection.
  4. Totally shocked by this announcement, she left her room and went out towards the dining room. There, she told us, that she noted numbers of security and other male staff, who were assembled, wearing gloves, who had come from other wards in preparedness to subject her to a “takedown” .
  5. She also saw that the “quiet room” door was unlocked and open.
  6. She noted a male staff, who was wearing a mask, who had come from another ward that was known to be under quarantine.
  7. She later reported to us, that at that point, she experienced absolute terror and felt totally cornered.
  8. Then because she saw no alternative and was aware of the security and staff who were prepared to seize her and “take her down”, she quietly and with dignity submitted to the intramuscular injection.
  9. She was denied to know until a week later that the drug that she had been injected with was Resperdal Consta.12.5 mgms. She was denied to know the name of the person (nurse?) who had come from another ward to administer the injection.
  10. No prior effort had been made to determine if she could tolerate Resperdal Consta. This indicates an unethical disregard for her well being and safety. Staff had been informed that she did not always tolerate medications well and sometimes suffered adverse, allergic reactions to medications.
  11. Resperdal Consta is indicated for schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. The client has never been diagnosed as schizophrenic or bipolar. Resperdal Consta is not known to reduce obsessive behavior.
  12. The injection protocol was repeated on November 20, 2012. She was informed some days after the fact that she had been injected with 25 mgms. of Resperdal Contra.
  13. She has told us that she feels generally ill, is suffering a continuous headache, diarrhea. She has strongly expressed to us the helplessness that she feels and the inability to defend herself.
  14. She has told us that she has greatly feared injections for the reason that the drugging will make her brains “mush”. She has told us that In her three years of detention she has witnessed first hand, the devastating, destructive effect of such needles on fellow detainees.
  15. The client has informed us that she phoned the guardian’s office following the first injection of November 6, 2012 seeking to receive an answer for the alleged assault She told us that the guardian’s response was abrupt, rude, provided no answers, yelled at her and strongly informed her that she was a “very sick woman”.
  16. The client has alleged to us that on the morning of November 6, 2012, Dr. Kevin Lawless met with Michelle Jasonson at the Office of the Public Guardian concerning the administration of the contraindicated medication.

The patient now suffers severe tardive dyskinesia. She has continual mouth movements.


  1. On February 14, 2012 @ noon, we visited the client and noted that she appeared gravely ill, malaised, listless, could hardly walk. At that time the client was allowed our supervised visit, for one hour, per week.
  2. She showed us her legs which she said were most painful. Her left leg was a shocking deep, scarlet red, from below the knee to the lower area around her ankle. Her entire right leg appeared bright pink.
  3. We observed that the left leg appeared edematous, hot and tender. She reported tenderness and pain in the upper, inner area of her left knee.
  4. She told us that during the night she had found herself drenched with perspiration.
  5. As we were leaving the client, one of our people who was shocked and upset by the gravely ill condition of the client and the bright red leg, spoke passionately to RN Cindy. “You are not treating her, you are denying her health care, it is criminal”. Nurse Cindy responded sharply and dismissively, “WE ARE AWARE”.
  6. Since January 2012, the client had been informing us that the swelling on her legs now extended above her knees and that her legs were most painful and bright pink.
  7. As a result of our visit, she was sent by taxi to the Misericordia Hospital emergency ward that evening for treatment.
  8. She later informed us that she received no medical care, no medical intervention at Villa Caritas. Then in the early morning hours of February 15, 2012, intensive, intravenous antibiotic therapy was commenced.
  9. Intensive intravenous therapy and close monitoring of the client at the Misericordia Hospital was continued for close to six weeks.
  10. The client is detained behind locked doors in a health care facility, allegedly a hospital, but continues to be seriously neglected. No one cares.
  11. Because of the failure of Villa Caritas staff to medically treat the cellulitis, the infection continues to pervade her entire body. She asserts that her lungs are painful and infected.
  12. October 8, 2012, the client called the attention, of her left leg being “hot and reddened” to Psychiatrist Dr. Michael Buchinski, her then physician.
  13. November 22, 2012, informed Nurse Ridwan Musa RPN, that a reddened, tender area, the size of a baseball was on her left mid-upper area of her left posterior area.
  14. November 26, 2012 – Dr. David Richards and Cindy RN (surname not known) came to examine the large tender, reddened area on her left posterior. Cindy took a swab.
  15. To date, she has not been administered any care, any treatment. Because she is imprisoned behind locked doors, she is helpless to obtain medical treatment.

Cellulitis is a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection of the skin. Untreated, cellulitis can be fatal.


  1. Tuesday, April 24, 2012, the public guardian informed the client that she was to undergo a day long capacity assessment.
  2. On April 27, 2012, client authored a letter to Office of the Public Guardian stating that she was refusing further assessments for the reason that positive assessments have been disregarded. i.e. 52 page assessment report by Dr. Peter Breggin, psychiatrist, who has stated that she is “not a danger to herself or others”.
  3. May 23, 2012, Dr. Arlin Pachet, Psychologist appeared at the client’s door. The client refused to be assessed.
  4. Nevertheless, the Guardian directed the psychologist to write a capacity report anyway.
  5. In breach of the College’s professional standards, the psychologist did so without direct and substantial professional contact with or a formal assessment of the client.
  6. The psychologist rendered a professional opinion that he knew would be used as evidence in a judicial proceeding, a proceeding which would have implications for the client’s legal and civil rights.
  7. We have registered an objection with the College of Registered Psychologists in regard to the alleged Capacity Report.

We respectfully ask that our concerns be investigated.

Thank you.

Yours truly,

Elder Advocates Of Alberta Society

cc. The Honourable Minister of Health, Mr. Fred Horne

Complaint Dismissed


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