National Post (Latest Edition)

Appeal court convicts naturopath in death

- Jesse Feith

MONTREAL • The Quebec Court of Appeal has overturned a Montreal naturopath’s acquittal and convicted her of manslaught­er in the death of an 84-yearold patient nearly 10 years ago.

In a 46-page judgment released Thursday, the appeal court also ordered a new trial on a charge of criminal negligence causing death.

“I believe to be in the presence of exceptiona­l conditions allowing the acquittal verdict to be substitute­d for a conviction on the count of manslaught­er,” Judge Claude Gagnon wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel.

“It is clear to me,” Gagnon said, “that the judge should have concluded, on the basis of the undisputed factual findings, that all the essential elements of the offence of manslaught­er are, in this case, establishe­d beyond reasonable doubt.”

In the summer of 2008, Roger Matern left a Westmount naturopath­y clinic feeling disoriente­d and struggling to stand upright. Matern, dealing with respirator­y problems following heart surgery, had taken the appointmen­t after more traditiona­l treatments proved unsuccessf­ul.

Intravenou­s injections aren’t typically done on first appointmen­ts, Matern was told, but desperate for quick results, he insisted. Naturopath Mitra Javanmardi gave in to his request, injecting him with a magnesium based compound.

Matern’s negative reaction to the injection was immediate. He felt hot, then he trembled. His state worsened after leaving the clinic, when he became confused and agitated. His health continued to decline as his family rushed him to hospital in the middle of the night, where he was pronounced dead soon after — 16 hours after the injection.

When the compound she injected into Matern was later found to be contaminat­ed, Javanmardi, 60, was charged with manslaught­er and criminal negligence causing his death.

In 2015, after a trial that spanned four years and heard from 18 expert witnesses, Quebec Court Judge Louise Villemure acquitted Javanmardi of all charges.

Villemure ruled Javanmardi had taken the necessary precaution­s before giving Matern the injection and that even if it was illegal to do so — under Quebec law, a naturopath isn’t allowed to give an intravenou­s injection — she did have enough training to administer the IV.

The verdict shocked the family and the prosecutio­n appealed.

The appeal court sent the case back to court to determine Javanmardi’s sentence for the manslaught­er conviction.

 ??  ?? Mitra Javanmardi
Mitra Javanmardi

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada