Nursing Home Resident Freezes to Death After Stepping out for a Cigarette.

@Jshean20 (14367)
Canada
February 14, 2007 5:39pm CST
I read an article today where a man who was a resident at a Gore Bay nursing home stepped out for a cigarette and ended up freezing to death. This happened in Ontario Canada where there are smoking bylaws in play which prohibit people from smoking indoors. When all of this was said and done, an employee of the nursing home was charged with criminal negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessaries of life for someone under his charge. Do you think the employee recieved the charges he should have? Why or why not? Do you think the smoking bylaws are to blame at all? What's your take on the story? Article: http://www.thestar.com/News/article/177247
6 people like this
16 responses
• Philippines
14 Feb 07
No, the smoking bylaws may not be blamed for the incident. It was the nursing home which failed to see for a need to provide smokers with a smoker's area. The area may be a room with sufficient ventilation for the smoke to go through out of the smoker's room. They also failed to warn their wards regarding the need to let the employee in charge know whenever they go out of the nursing home. It is common knowledge that Canada is a very cold country with below freezing point temperatures, it is quite baffling why the administatiive body of the nursing home overlooked this.
@Jshean20 (14367)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
This man should have had better supervision while he was outside and being a resident of Canada I can agree that we get some COLDDD days..especially lately.
2 people like this
@mjsdls (1840)
• United States
14 Feb 07
My that was sad. No I don't think that the employee should be to blame. No one really except the smoking law. They should designate (during the winter) a certian part of the home for smokers to go. I wander how long he was out there? The article didn't say. I wander if he had any kind of a coat and hat? No I don't blame the employees. Working in a nuring home is hard work and you can't keep an eye on everyone at the same time, exspecially when your short handed. Most nuring homes stay short handed.
@Jshean20 (14367)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
I've never worked in a nursing home but I've heard that it's very hectic and busy...way understaffed
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Feb 07
I have worked in nursing homes. We are always understaffed and have too many patients. I much prefer home health care. That staff person should have been cahrged. It was negligence.
@Jshean20 (14367)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
thanks for your input Julia
• Philippines
15 Feb 07
If the employee ought not to allow the man to go out and yet the man was able to go out, then the employee is accountable and he should be charged with the appropriate charges. It is similar to the prison where the guard should not allow the prisoners to go out and if the prisoners are able to escape, the guards are responsible and face the corresponding charges. The law is a law to be enforced, no exception. There's nothing wrong with it in this instant case. If it's defective, then the necessary amendment should be made but unless and until it is amended, the existing law should be enforced.
1 person likes this
@Jshean20 (14367)
• Canada
17 Feb 07
thanks for your input
@koikoikoi (1247)
• United States
15 Feb 07
Will I don't think the employee should have been charged. I really can't explain why not but it's just something that in a way isn't his fault. I really don't think that the laws have anything wrong to do here, but since that happend I think they should have smoking rooms instead of having to go outside just go instead to a room.
1 person likes this
@Jshean20 (14367)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
OK thanks for your opinion
@candygurl24 (1880)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
If you are responsible for the welfare of another human being, especially in this situation, wouldn't you think that you would stay near by or at least check after about 4 minutes? I know that alot of places have indoor smoking areas that are ventilated and otherwise closed off, but come on now! It would be like letting your child outside, you are responsible for them so you either go out with them or check up on them every few seconds. It's not all that hard to do. I think that criminal stupidity is a decent charge to lay on this man.
1 person likes this
@Jshean20 (14367)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
I wonder if this nurse forgot or just got caught up in his work? I know there is no excuse I'm just curious what could've happened..
@onesiobhan (1330)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
The article didn't mention if the resident was mentally impaired in some way. If he is likely to be forgetful or confused then he should have been chaperoned. Most people can go out for a smoke without freezing.
@xabimaru (340)
• Malaysia
15 Feb 07
I don't think it is the balme of the employee. They have to follow order which is no smoking inside the building because if they let this one slip then other will try to fo the same so that poor man will have to find some place else to smoke and that will be outside of the building. The main problem is that the building should have specefic area for smoker since outdoor smoking is not possible. I think that unlucky man take his risk by smoking outside although it's freezing. Come on, it's freezing, how come you can stand a second outside?? For sure you'll run for a better place right??
• United States
15 Feb 07
If they are not going to allow these elderly people to smoke indoors, they should have a designated area for them to smoke and a call button on that entrance allowing them to be able to page someone in the event that they can't get back in. Yes the aid in question should be charged with something, but I don't with what. Those people have a responibility to the elderly at there facility and if they are not doing what they are supposed to be doing in their care, then they must be ready to suffer the aftermath of this sort of thing.
1 person likes this
@SpitFire179 (2536)
• Canada
15 Feb 07
I'm In Alberta Canada. I think these smoking laws are causing too much of this crap. I think that you should be free to smoke in doors, and that they just put these laws across so they could have an excuse to blame common cancers that are actually genetic on it. (Just my opinion, please don't take offence) The governments are over all corupt, they do things just to make all the money they can. They seem to think now if they ban smoking for good that it's going to make changes in Canada for the better, no it won't, it'll take away their happy tourists, it'll make probably hundreds of thousands of people move to the states, and have a lot of people severely pissed off. I don't think this specific incident has 100% blame for the government, and i don't think that the nurse got enough charges laid on him, hell i think most of those nursing home employees should be charged for neglect and abuse, because more of this crap goes on than people care to pay attention to, but i think that all these laws attempted to be put into place is a bunch of bogus.
@crazynurse (7489)
• United States
16 Feb 07
This is an age old problem and ethical dilema in nursing homes. It is cruel to not allow them to smoke. Most all are in agreement with that piece. It is unsafe and unhealthy to allow them to smoke wherever and whenever they please. Most agree with that piece. So, the two pieces that are debatable are where should they smoke, and who is to provide supervision. Many nursing homes are owned by large business conglomerates who have rules that govern all of the buildings they own and they say smokefree is necessary. That means taking the elderly outside to smoke and also means a staff has to go with them. Nursing homes are busy places and it is hard to spare a staff and so often that doesn't happen. That is deplorable. Even if you get volunteers to go with the elderly, they MUST be supervised! The only other option is to have an indoor smoke room that is ventilated and separate from other rooms. Again, you still need supervision and it ties up an employee! The nursing home in our town has a separate indoor room. The elderly are allowed to smoke on the hour. So at the beginning of each hour, anyone who wishes to smoke goes to that room and the room is supervised by a nurse aide. Now, this nurse aide at this point is removed from being on the floor helping those who need toileting, batheing and other things. I'm telling you, it is a hard situation. There has yet to be, in my opinion, a win-win situation!
• United States
16 Feb 07
It all depends because when I was in a nursing hime for 4 months last year there were supervised smoking breaks and they were annouced over the intercom every couple of hours. However many of the patients used to sneak out to smoke usually where they couldn't be seen. If it was under one of these similar circumstance and it wasn't during a supervised break then I don't think the employee should be held responsible.
@lingli_78 (12844)
• Australia
16 Feb 07
well, this is a rather sad story... and i don't think the law is to be blame for it...i think the man himself is to be blame for not letting any of the staff member know that he is going out for a smoke... also, the staff member in the nursing home is also to blame for neglecting their duties to look after their residents... otherwise, they would have known that one of the resident is going out for a smoke and they would have forbid or warned him as the temperature outside is really cold... but may be the staff member is just too busy and didn't see him when he goes out... may be they can put up a stricter rule in the nursing home forbidding any of the resident to go out without letting any of the staff member know to prevent this incident to happen again in the future...
• United States
15 Feb 07
I think the nursing home and law are to blame. After all, the ultimate reason the elderly person was out in that kind of cold, is by their reasoning. I work in a nursing home. We have smoker's come and go. We have to assist them while smoking, which means-go off the floor, and stay with them until they're done smoking, and then bring them back in. They are not allowed to go with out someone.
• United States
15 Feb 07
That's awful. It's hard to say if the person should be charged. In a way they should've watched them but it could've been an honest mistake at the same time.
@shywolf (4520)
• United States
15 Feb 07
That is such a sad story :( I don't feel that the employee should be to blame at all. I guess that it should be up to the nursing home to provide a place for the people living there to smoke without having to stay outside in the freezing cold at this time of the year. But I cannot see how an individual employee should be to blame for this. Maybe the people in charge of the nursing home. Nothing else makes sense. It isn't like it was that employee's fault that the guy couldn't smoke indoors, although perhaps he should've been watching the guy more closely while he was outdoors. I don't konw.
@vityota (878)
• India
15 Feb 07
its a very pathetic news and i think the smoking bylaws are to be blamed for this as per the rules only everyone can follow so the person incharge cannot be blamed and all set and done the man has gone how bad