Parents of Victoria teen who died of accidental drug overdose call for changes to health care laws

Parents of Victoria teen who died of accidental drug overdose call for changes to health care laws

The father of an Oak Bay High student who died of an accidental drug overdose is calling on the province to make immediate changes to health care laws.

Brock Eurchuk has written a letter addressed to premier John Horgan and health minister Adrian Dix.

He says, one month after the death of his 16-year old son, he believes that if he and his wife had been given “continuous, timely access to Elliot’s medical records, his death would likely not have occurred.”

Elliot Eurchuk was found dead of a suspected opioid overdose in April.

His parents say the teen had become addicted to painkillers during a series of operations over the past two years, and turned to street drugs.

Despite his parents’ concerns, the teen was able to block them from seeing any of his medical records, treatment plans or test results.

“[His mother] Rachel and I attempted to apply random drug tests but were blocked from accessing their results,” his father writes.

“Elliot reentered the hospital system January 31, 2018 with an acute blood infection. Opiates were found in his system at intake. This information was not shared with my wife and I.”

His father also reveals that Elliot had been resuscitated with Naloxone after being found unresponsive in his hospital bed two months prior to his fatal overdose. He says the blood tests done following the incident were not discussed with he and his wife.

Now his father wants laws to be changed to recognize that “youth exhibiting ‘at risk’ behaviour” are often incapable of making prudent decisions regarding their health care.

Brock Eurchuk also believes they “should not have the unilateral ability to have information regarding their medical records blocked from their primary caregivers.”

“Provincial Law and Hospital Policy facilitated Elliot blocking his medial records, medical test results and treatment plan from us. The prescribed use of opiates for Elliot’s surgeries was excessive,” he writes.

“It is also clear to me – until this Legislation is amended – additional, preventable youth deaths will occur.”

Parents of Ellit Eurchuk look at pictures of their son.

Parents of Elliot Eurchuk look at pictures of their son.

Ben O'HaraBen O'Hara

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