North

Lawyer Katherine Peterson to conduct review of Makibi Timilak case

Nunavut's health department has commissioned Katherine Peterson, a long-time northern lawyer, to conduct an external review into the death of Makibi Timilak in Cape Dorset.
Makibi Timilak sits nestled in his mother's fur-lined amauti. Timilak died in 2012, aged three months, from a common viral infection after a nurse at the Cape Dorset Health Centre allegedly refused to see him. (Family photo)

Nunavut's health department has commissioned Katherine Peterson, a long-time northern lawyer, to conduct an external review into the death of Makibi Timilak in Cape Dorset.

The Nunavut government ordered the external review following a CBC News investigation last year.

Nunavut Health Minister Paul Okalik.

Three-month-old Timilak died in 2012 from a common viral infection after a nurse at the Cape Dorset Health Centre allegedly refused to see him. The nurse, Debbie McKeown, was later promoted to the community's top nursing position.

Health Minister Paul Okalik told the legislative assembly the review will look at the operations of the Department of Health and related GN departments to determine what steps were taken after Timilak's death and whether the steps taken were appropriate.

"The review will also focus more generally on what procedures are currently in place within GN departments for receiving and responding to complaints regarding nursing care in Nunavut, and whether they were followed in this case," Okalik said.

Peterson will have access to all government documentation in the case. She'll also have the opportunity to speak to the family in Cape Dorset, government officials, former employees and the Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Okalik said he expects an interim report by Oct. 31 and a final report by Nov. 30.

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