Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

No decision on inquest until fall

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MANITOBA'S chief medical examiner, Dr. Thambirajah Balachandra, says he won't make a decision on whether to call an inquest into the deaths of a woman and her two children until late fall.

The medical examiner's office says provincial law dictates a thorough investigation be done first into the circumstances deaths.

"Once the office of the chief medical examiner has gathered and assessed all relevant information, a decision will be make regarding the course of action that needs to be taken to prevent similar future deaths," a release said Wednesday.

The office said that will take a few months.

Lisa Gibson's two children were found unresponsive in the bathtub of the family's Winnipeg home last week. They were pronounced dead in hospital. Gibson's husband was not home at the time.

The 32-year-old mother's body was found in the Red River Saturday.

Police have said while it may appear Gibson killed her children, they are not ready to rule out other possibilities and are continuing to investigate.

There have been media reports Gibson sought treatment for postpartum depression after the birth of her son in the spring. The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said privacy laws prevent the release of any information, but it has completed its review of the medical system's dealings with Lisa Gibson and handed it over to the chief medical examiner.

An inquest would be run by a provincial court judge and would include sworn testimony from witnesses, including medical experts.

The head of the Canadian Schizophrenia Society has suggested an inquest is needed to find out whether the health-care system handled Gibson appropriately.

"Many in the public would want to know... did we do everything we could for her?" Chris Summerville said this week.

Manitoba Attorney General Andrew Swan also has the authority to order an inquest. The government said its practice is to leave the decision to the chief medical examiner.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 1, 2013 A5

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