The Supreme Court of Canada announced Thursday it will hear the appeal of a Montreal naturopath convicted of manslaughter in the death of an elderly patient.
Mitra Javanmardi was facing a possible prison sentence last May after the Quebec Court of Appeal overturned a 2015 acquittal and entered a guilty verdict in the death of Roger Matern. The appeal court also ordered that she face a new trial on a charge of criminal negligence causing death, for which she had been acquitted.
Matern, who was in his 80s, died after Javanmardi injected him with a contaminated substance. He visited Javanmardi’s clinic in June 2008 following heart surgery that reportedly did not improve his health.
According to court documents, Matern wanted quick results and insisted that Javanmardi inject him with nutrients despite her telling him the procedure was not done on a first visit.
She eventually acquiesced.
During the injection he complained of being hot and then started shivering. His condition deteriorated rapidly while at the clinic and Javanmardi recommended he get a good night sleep.
Matern’s condition worsened at home, but he only went to hospital the following day, when it was too late.
Police who raided Javanmardi’s office following Matern’s death seized vials containing the substance with which she injected him. Analysis revealed one of the vials contained 9.7 million bacteria when the norm for an injectable product is zero.
The investigation found Javanmardi was not authorized to make intravenous injections, a procedure reserved for certain health care professionals. She had been injecting patients since 1992.
The appeals court concluded the lower court did not properly apply the law to the facts of the case.
It noted that in addition to Javanmardi’s lack of authorization to inject patients, she had a used a single-dose vial three times, she had improperly agreed to Matern’s demand for treatment, and when confronted with unknown symptoms, she had not sent him to the hospital.