REGINA - There will be no coroner's inquest into the death of Shayne Turner.
Turner suffered a fatal fentanyl overdose in White City on Nov. 8, 2021, shortly after being discharged from Regina General Hospital. Turner had gone to hospital Nov, 7, 2021 seeking referral to detox treatment following an earlier overdose.
Instead, Turner was discharged Nov. 8; he was given a couple of brochures on addictions recovery but was not provided a naloxone kit.
The office of the Chief Coroner has announced that rather than holding an inquest, two recommendations have been made to the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Those are:
- The SHA shall consider a formal protocol between Regina hospital emergency departments and the Regina Brief and Social Detox Services, as a way to provide an immediate avenue for admittance if a person is requesting entry to the detox centre when being released from care.
- The SHA review their protocol, as it pertains to providing naloxone kits to persons treated for drug toxicity or drug addiction, upon their release from care.
"The Saskatchewan Coroners Service continues to work collaboratively with local agencies and the Drug Task Force to reduce drug-related harm across the province," Chief Coroner Clive Weighill said in a news release. "The Service remains committed to educating the public whenever possible to mitigate any potential risk due to dangerous practices and conditions in an effort to keep all Saskatchewan citizens safe."
Members of Turner's family had attended the Legislature during the fall sitting, where they called on government officials to hold an inquest into the events. The Official Opposition New Democrats had supported the family in calling for an inquest during that session.
On Thursday, Opposition members responded with dismay to the announcement from the coroner's office, and again called upon the Sask. Party government to support an inquest.
“Shayne is just one of many Saskatchewan people who have tragically died because the Sask. Party government failed to fix the broken mental health system,” said Opposition Leader Carla Beck in a statement. “We have a mental health and addictions crisis in this province and 2023 needs to be a year of solutions, not slogans, from Scott Moe and his ministers.”
“The Turner family still has no answers about Shayne’s tragic death and they rightly insist upon an independent and transparent Coroner’s inquest,” said Opposition Critic Nicole Sarauer. “I sincerely hope the Sask. Party government acts on these recommendations, but it’s clear to the Turner family and every family that has lost a loved one to the mental health and addictions crisis that real action is needed.”