Thursday, December 18, 2014

Back in action: Catch-up (7): Tamara Broomfield; Major development; Ontario to review hair drug tests performed at Hospital for Sick Children; Toronto Star.

STORY: "Ontario launches review of hair drug tests performed at sick kids," by reporters Rachel Mendleson and Richard J. Brennan, published by the Toronto Star on November 28, 2014.

SUB-HEADING: "Five years'  worth of Motherisk lab's tests used in child-protection and criminal cases will get a closer look, after a Star investigation."

GIST: "The Motherisk review, which will be officially announced on Friday, is the latest in a series of high-profile inquiries into Sick Kids, dating back decades. In October 2008, Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Stephen Goudge issued a report lambasting forensic pathology’s state of affairs in the wake of the inquiry into flawed child death investigations by former Sick Kids pediatric pathologist Charles Smith. In 1984, then Justice Samuel Grange led a royal commission investigating a series of baby deaths at Sick Kids, but in the end, no one was held criminally responsible. Calls for the province to examine past Motherisk cases have been mounting since the October appeal court decision in the Broomfield case. At Broomfield’s trial, Motherisk founder and director Gideon Koren testified that tests of the boy’s hair showed he had regularly ingested very high doses of cocaine for more than a year leading up to a 2005 overdose. The appeal court decision came after Craig Chatterton, deputy chief toxicologist in the office of the chief medical examiner in Edmonton, said the “gold-standard” technique was not used. Chatterton, who gave his opinion as an independent consultant, also said the tests should have been conducted in a forensic lab, rather than in a clinical lab, like Motherisk. Based on the conclusions Motherisk presented, Chatterton claimed it was “not possible” to determine whether the boy had ingested or been exposed to cocaine over an extended period. Despite repeated requests, Sick Kids has not said how many other child welfare cases were influenced by the same type of analysis. The hospital has defended the reliability of its Motherisk program, as well as the test used in the Broomfield case.
Sick Kids has said Motherisk has been using the gold-standard technique to test hair for cocaine since 2010, and defends the technique used in 2005 in the Broomfield case as “highly reliable,” based on cross-testing. That leaves a question hanging over at least five years of cases."

The entire story can be found at:


Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.
I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:
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Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog