Montreal

3 people found guilty in Chantal Lavigne's sweating death to do prison time

3 years for Gabrielle Fréchette, 2 each for Gérald Fontaine and Ginette Duclos

Quebec sweating death

Ginette Duclos, Gabrielle Fréchette and Gérald Fontaine have been found guilty of criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm. (Radio-Canada)

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The three people found responsible for the so-called sweating death of Chantal Lavigne in 2011 have been sentenced to prison. 

Gabrielle Fréchette was handed a three-year sentence, while Gérald Fontaine and Ginette Duclos each received two years.

Lavigne died after undergoing a detoxification process that involved intense sweating at a farmhouse in Durham, a small town near Drummondville, Que.

The detox therapy session was part of a seminar called "Dying in Consciousness," led by a self-styled Quebec therapist.

The three were found guilty of criminal negligence causing death last December. They were also found guilty of criminal negligence causing bodily harm for a second woman, Julie Théberge, who recovered.

Wrapped in plastic, encased in cardboard

Lavigne and Théberge were rendered unconscious by the excess sweating and were transported to hospital.

hi-852-quebec-spa-detox-chantal-lavigne

Chantal Lavigne, 35, died in July 2011 after a detox therapy session where she was wrapped in plastic and covered in blankets for nine hours. (Radio-Canada)

"The treatments consisted of a process of sweating by being all wrapped in plastic with mud, and also with blankets," Sgt. Éloise Cossette of Quebec provincial police said back in 2011.

Both women were also encased in cardboard boxes.

Lavigne, a 35-year-old mother of two, died hours later of hyperthermia — a medical emergency caused by failed thermoregulation, when the body produces or absorbs more heat than it can dissipate. 

Her body temperature at the time paramedics found her was at 40.5 C. Normal human body temperature is 37 C.

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