Scheunert family on coroner’s verdict: ‘We are happy’
‘It tells us a lot by saying it was accidental,’ says sister Wanda Zimmerman
The jury for a coroner's inquest has ruled Teresa Scheunert died "accidentally" from "mixed drug toxicity."
The nurse died two years ago in the Watson Lake Hospital where she worked, while being treated for back pain.
The verdict came late Saturday afternoon after five days of evidence from a variety of medical experts.
For Scheunert’s family, the verdict followed a two-year ordeal.
"We are happy with what happened,” says sister, Wanda Zimmerman. “It tells us a lot by saying it was accidental.”
The jurors were unanimous in that verdict.
But just five of six agreed that Scheunert's mixed drug prescription was the cause of death.
The verdict comes with dozens of recommendations to tighten drug policies and procedures for treating and monitoring pain patients like Scheunert.
Daughter Crystal Thomas says the inquest exposed major gaps in the Yukon health care system.
"It brought a lot of situations to light and I think it definitely proved there is room for improvement and I truly hope they are followed through.”
Recommendations include an extensive list from the Canadian Institute for Safe Medication Practices.
Jurors suggest lessons learned from the Scheunert case should be shared nationally.