A fatality inquiry has been stayed while police continue to review their investigation into the death of a mentally ill man who was under the supervision of Alberta Health Services.
An inquiry into the April 2013 death of Cameron Bisset, 54, had been scheduled for September. But on Monday, the Crown stayed the hearing. A police spokesperson said the homicide section is reviewing its file and that further information would be available later this month.
Bisset’s emaciated body was found slumped over a bedside table in the apartment where he lived alone, under the supervision of AHS.
An autopsy report concluded he died of upper-gastrointestinal hemorrhaging due to a pair of ulcers and that malnutrition and schizophrenia were also factors.
In February 2015, George Bisset said he believes the health-care system failed his brother.
READ MORE: AHS mental health supports in the spotlight in light of 2013 death of Edmonton man
At the time, Global News reached out to AHS and police for comment, but requests were denied.
In a letter to George Bisset, AHS said: “After a careful review we have concluded that the mental health care and treatment provided by the Edmonton Zone Addiction & Mental Health programs was appropriate both with regard to the level and standard of care.”
An internal police report obtained by Global News contradicts those claims. Shortly after Cameron Bisset’s death, Edmonton police conducted a Professional Standards Branch investigation. The findings: Cameron Bisset’s care was far from perfect but no one person could be blamed for his death.
While the investigating officer found “for a variety of reasons I do not have any reasonable suspicion that anybody involved in his care meets the thresholds for (criminal) offences, … it is not to say that there were no issues with Cameron’s care.”
The report questions where responsibility for Cameron Bisset’s care lay, and noted there were dozens of people in several positions involved in his care.
Then-NDP health critic David Eggen, now the minister of education, said Bisset’s death, though tragic, was not “entirely surprising” because of the lengths to which the system is stretched.
“There’s been a lot of pressure on the capacity for our system to look after the people that are the most vulnerable in our society,” Eggen told Global News.
“The worst thing is we see more of these cases than ever before. For every one that we actually get illumination on there’s 10 more people out there suffering, or more.”
With files from Kerry Powell, Eric Szeto and Caley Ramsay.