Winnipeg hospital investigating after wrong remains were given to family

Martine Bouchard, president of St. Boniface Hospital, says a review is underway

A Winnipeg hospital is apologizing for sending the wrong baby’s remains to a grieving family in Nunavut.

Martine Bouchard, president of St. Boniface Hospital, says a review is underway and the family will be told of its findings.

Tony Alagalak told the CBC this week he and his wife Alice Kinak went to the health centre in Arviat on April 19, where Kinak gave birth.

Alagalak told the broadcaster the mother and baby were flown to Winnipeg, where the baby boy died in hospital.

Kinak returned to Arviat, the baby’s remains were sent, and a funeral was held.

Bouchard says shortly afterward, the hospital realized there had been a mix-up and sent two people to Arviat to meet with the family and explain the mistake.

Alagalak has declined an interview request by The Canadian Press, and Bouchard would not reveal the identity of the remains mistakenly sent to Arviat.

“No one should have to live through what this family has lived. We acknowledge that the wrong remains were released and on my personal behalf and on behalf of St. Boniface Hospital, I express my deepest regret for what has happened,” Bouchard wrote in a statement Friday.

“Our responsibility now is to ensure that this does not happen again to anyone else. We are proceeding with a thorough review of our processes so that we can fully understand the circumstances that led to this error and make the necessary changes.

“The family deserves answers and we will share our findings with them before sharing them more widely.”

The Canadian Press

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