Obamacare to Come: Canadian Man Dies Ignored in Hospital Waiting Room

Foreshadowing Obamacare, the family of a Canadian man who died sitting in his wheelchair in the waiting room of a Winnipeg hospital for 34 hours has withdrawn from the inquest being undertaken to find out what went wrong.

The man, Brian Sinclair, 45, was left by hospital workers for 34 hours when he arrived at a hospital emergency room in Winnipeg back in September of 2008. Government officials have been hemming and hawing about looking into the neglect ever since.

Sinclair’s family have now pulled out of the latest attempt by government officials to find out why the man was left unattended for so long announcing that they have no faith in the government’s sincerity of actually getting to the bottom of the criminal neglect of the double amputee.

In 2008, Sinclair was sent to the Health Sciences Centre’s emergency room in Winnipeg by a community clinic that thought he might have had a urinary infection.

Sinclair sat in his wheel chair for 34 hours without ever being triaged, given any care, or spoken to. It was determined that he died from a treatable bladder infection caused by a blocked catheter.

The Canadian government has been investigating the incident off and on since 2009 but to date no satisfactory solution or outcome has been realized. Canada, of course, has a nationalized healthcare system akin to Obamacare and this incident is what we should be preparing to see often here in the USA as Obama’s takeover of our national healthcare system advances.

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  • Walter_Cronanty

    Ah yes, Canada copying Great Britain’s model and having Mr. Sinclair ride his wheelchair down the Liverpool Pathway. Wonder if the hospital got paid for its “care”? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9644287/NHS-millions-for-controversial-care-pathway.html

  • yetanotherjohn

    Obviously the man is racist for casting aspersions on national health care by dying.

  • SteveCrickmore075

    It is not only in Canada, the US has had several similar cases that you could be stuck, next to a dead man, in a waiting room, in the ER. This may change at one hospital in the Bronx with a new more proactive policy in place, because of the recent death of John Verrier who went to a New York City emergency room in the West Bronx to get treated for a rash. Eight hours later he was found stiff, cold, and dead in the waiting room.

    A spokesman said an in-house review found “all guidelines were met,” but an ER worker told WABC-TV the policy should be changed. “There’s no policy in place to check the waiting room to see if people waiting to be seen are still there or still alive,” said the ER worker. This would reduce the waiting times, to see a doctor, if someone could check first to see if the patient is still alive. The average time for waiting in the ER of that Bronx hospital was 306 minutes.

    • Walter_Cronanty

      Not denying the tragedy, Steve, but you did leave out a few things.

      First, he came in for a “rash,” had his vital signs checked and was told to wait; thus, he had seen a care giver.

      Second, his name was called “two or three times” between the time he checked in (10:00 pm) and 2:00 am – he didn’t respond.

      Third, he was seen, on videotape “alive and moving” at 3:45 am – why he didn’t respond when they called his name is, apparently, not known.

      Fourth, the “average time” of 306 minutes you reference is for “treatment and release,” not just waiting – still well beyond state averages.


      I haven’t been able to find any report on the cause of death, have you?

      • SteveCrickmore075

        No, I couldn’t find his cause of death, maybe”heart failure” caused by accumulative heavy drug usage.. I suppose they can’t very well put “hospital was understaffed”, as to cause of death on his death certificate. Actually wait times in Canada’s ER wards are o’kay. I would think they are better than the US, since family clinics are free, in Canada, and there is not so much heavy urban density, like the Bronx. . It is the waiting time for non- emergency surgery that could be a problem, worse than in the US, such as a hip replacement, which likely would take several months, to make an apppintment for an operation.

        • jim_m

          So if his heart failure was caused by long term heavy drug use, what is the impact of hospital ER staffing on his drug habit? Was the ER staff supposed to trail after him every day checking up on his personal behavior? Who is responsible for his lifestyle? What government agency is charged with policing people’s everyday activities?

          Come on Steve. There must be some government agency whose job it is to ensure that private citizens act in the ways that will accrue to the maximum benefit for the society at large.

          ER waiting times are not the issue. It is waiting for necessary treatment in Canada that will kill you. The 3-4 months of waiting for chemotherapy for your colon cancer will take your 80% chance of survival down to 40%. The waiting of well over a year for your hip or knee replacement will only get you on the waiting list for drug rehab once you finally get your joint fixed.

      • Jwb10001

        It’s odd that Steve seems to have left out all the mitigating circumstances, well, not really all that odd I guess.

      • Alpha_Male

        Wanted to say, from the troll gallery, that was one of the biggest trouncings I’ve seen in a rebuttal on this board. There really is no recovery for Steve on that one.

        • jim_m

          It was an especially good take down.

        • Walter_Cronanty

          Thanks, I think. Didn’t really mean it as a “trouncing.” I enjoy the give and take with Steve, Bruce and, most of the time, Chico, as they challenge my ideas and make me think. Despite the fact that most commenters here are conservative like I am and generally have excellent points to make/add, I would hate to have this site become nothing but an echo chamber.
          But I admit that I’m kind of protective of the medical profession as I have 3 RNs, one nurse practitioner, and a surgical technician in my immediate family.
          Plus, as I tippy-tap this out, my youngest son is in the hospital due to complications from coming out of remission from leukemia for the 3rd time in the last year and a half – he’s been in and out [mostly in] of the hospital since October. His care has been excellent – for the vast majority of the time.
          I enjoy coming here and getting into it with the above three – I think I even got into it with WarnerTodd over some pissy little thing awhile back. It’s an enjoyable, thought-provoking escape from things that are of overwhelming importance over which I have no control and about which I have very little knowledge. So, I don’t like to think of it as a trouncing, just adding facts for as accurate a picture as possible

          • Brucehenry

            My best wishes to your son, Walter. I hope things turn out well.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            Thanks Bruce, I appreciate it. Spent the last day and half at the hospital waiting for test results – none yet.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            See, reply to Jim M below. Thanks again for your thoughts.

          • jim_m

            Sorry about your son. I ran a BMT lab once and had a lot of leukemia patients, I know it can be a tough road. There’s always something new in cancer therapy so there is always hope.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            Yeah, there’s almost always hope. I think the hope is to try and keep him alive until there’s a cure – but pray for good test results due tomorrow [thought we would have had them today], because if they are bad, I’m not sure hope will do the trick.

          • jim_m

            will do.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            Good work. Test results are negative, which is positive. Now they only have to successfully treat the results of the treatment which put him in remission. Thanks again.

          • jim_m

            So glad to hear that you got good news!

          • Hank_M


          • Hank_M

            Catching up, just read this entry and I’d like to also second what Bruce wrote.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            Thanks for the good thoughts. See reply to Jim M above.

    • jim_m

      The problem in government run healthcare is that you wait and wait and wait until you die, unless you have somewhere else to go that you can actually get treated. and the irony is that if they had waited for the Canadian government to approve going to the US to get life saving treatment they would have waited even longer than if they had gotten it done back in Canada.

      Or you can go to the UK where patients die from dehydration after being ignored by hospital staff

      Or where patients get lung transplants with cancerous lungs

      But in all these cases the governments and healthcare systems are held guilt free as they were only following procedures.


      Like in Canada, where the constitution guarantees a right to access to health care and the people sued the government and the Surpreme Court in Quebec ruled that “access to a wating list is not access to healthcare”.

      So your vaunted socialized medicine system that was supposed to make everyone’s life perfect is actually violating their rights so badly that they sued the government AND WON.

    • 914

      “Eight hours later he was found stiff, cold, and dead in the waiting room.”

      Another shovel ready democrat vote waiting to be tabulated.

  • GarandFan

    You folks don’t understand “the big picture”. Social Security and Medicare are unsustainable.

    ObamaCare IS the solution!

    • jim_m

      The final solution.

  • Brucehenry

    Several examples here of death or amputation resulting from long waits and being ignored in US emergency rooms. Note the dates of the articles — all BEFORE Obamacare.




    Somebody here in the comments said something yesterday about not caring about the victims except as props to advance an ideological agenda. Now who was that?

  • Winchester308

    This story can not be true, we all know socialism is good and would never hurt John Q Public. This guy probably died to make socialized medicine look bad.
    How could making health care as efficient as the DMV be bad?

  • moussaif said

    hate that 🙁

    robotic dog