Doctors fight scope of inquest into Ontario prison death of teenager Ashley Smith

National Post | News

TORONTO — Doctors who treated a deeply troubled teenager are fighting the scope of a coroner’s inquest into her death in an Ontario prison cell five years ago, The Canadian Press has learned.

Documents show the three doctors — two psychiatrists and a general practitioner — argue the presiding coroner’s plans are unconstitutional because they include events that occurred outside Ontario.

The challenge threatens to further delay the already much-delayed proceedings and has infuriated the family of Ashley Smith, which argues medical professionals are trying to escape scrutiny of their role in the tragedy.

“It is a certainly a shock to the family that Ashley Smith’s caregivers would be at the heart of a challenge to inquiring into her therapeutic care,” said family lawyer Julian Falconer. “What a sad state of affairs.”


Smith, 19, of Moncton, N.B., spent the past 11 months of her life being shuttled from one…

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