The Pediatric Cardiac Inquest Report - Chapter 1



The mandate of the Inquest

Inquests in Manitoba are governed by statute, and to a certain extent by common law. Their legislative mandate is set out in the provisions of The Fatality Inquiries Act, C.C.S.M. c. F-52 (hereafter referred to as the Fatality Inquiries Act).

Inquests in Manitoba are presided over by judges of the Provincial Court of Manitoba (Fatality Inquiries Act, s. 26). Their primary role is to determine the identity of the deceased, the facts surrounding the death, how the deceased came to die, and whether the death was preventable. Additionally, an inquest is mandated to inquire into whether any of the policies or programs of an institution or government should be changed in order to prevent a repeat of such a death (Fatality Inquiries Act, s 33(1)).

During the course of these proceedings, a number of legal issues presented themselves in addition to the legal issues that normally arise with respect to the admissibility of evidence. These issues include the following:

  • Who should have standing
  • The question of culpability
  • What is informed consent
  • The legal privilege of members of Medical Standards Committees
  • In camera proceedings
  • Disclosure of evidence



Current Home - Table of Contents - Chapter 1 - The mandate of the Inquest
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Previous The Calling of the Inquest
Section 1 Chapter 1 - Introduction to the Issues
  Chapter 2 - Pediatric Cardiac Issues
  Chapter 3 - The Diagnosis of Pediatric Heart Defects and their Surgical Treatment
  Chapter 4 - The Health Sciences Centre
Section 2 Chapter 5 - Pediatric Cardiac Surgery in Winnipeg 1950-1993
  Chapter 6 - The Restart of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery in 1994
January 1, 1994 to May 17, 1994
  Chapter 7 - The Slowdown
May 17 to September 1994
  Chapter 8 - Events Leading to the Suspension of the Program
September 7, 1994 to December 23, 1994
  Chapter 9 - 1995 - The Aftermath of the Shutdown
January to March, 1995
Section 3 Chapter 10 - Findings and Recommendations
Appendix 1 - Glossary of terms used in this report
Appendix 2 - Parties to the Proceedings and counsel
Appendix 3 - List of witnesses and dates of testimony
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