Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Update on the investigation into the death of Jean Lemire

Barre, Vermont - The state body investigating the agency that hired Julie Davis, the caregiver accused of neglect in connection with the death by dehydration on August 9, 2008, of 47-year-old Jean Lemire, who was developmentally disabled, says it did nothing wrong in the incident, the Times Argus reports. According to Joan Senecal, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Disability, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL), the agency, Lincoln Street, took all the necessary steps to vet Davis when they hired her, including five background checks and three reference checks, and has not been found negligent.

As reported here by the press on November 1, Julie Davis is charged with abuse and neglect to a vulnerable adult by a caregiver for failing to provide Jean Lemire with medical attention, food, drink and shelter for six days, resulting in Ms Lemire death from hyerthermia soon afterwards. She faces up to 15 years in prison.

The Times Argus also notes that Ms Lemire was the second person with developmental disabilities to die while in Julie Davis' care. According to court records and Joan Senecal, Doug Lafrance died of pneumonia on Davis' watch, but that incident didn't prevent her from continuing to be a caregiver. As Ms Senecal explains:

"We take on lots of people with compromised medical and health conditions," said Senecal. "Many of these people are very frail and have lots of medical problems. It does happen once in awhile."

Yes, but two deaths while under the watch of the same caregiver?