Monday 28 September, 2020

Burkie's family gets go-ahead for post-mortem

Relatives of Cedric ‘Burkie’ Burke have been given clearance to perform an independent post-mortem.

Loop News was told that relatives are hopeful that this will be done today, so that the family could know definitively how the 45-year-old father of 17 died. 

Sources said the medical records from Burke’s stay in the care of the State since he was first admitted, have also been handed over.

On Saturday, Burke’s wife Felicia Samuel, made this request via her attorneys Richard Clarke Wills, Chelsea John, and Lemuel Murphy.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Health responded to a pre-action protocol letter issued to the office of the Minister of Health (MoH) and the Chief Medical Officer.

Relatives requested Burke’s medical records from the moment he was taken into the State’s care up to the time of his death. They are also seeking to prevent the State from disposing of his body, to allow the family to have an independent autopsy performed.

That same day, the legal advisor to the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry, Mala Kowlessar-Tagallie, sent a response to John and Wills, indicating receipt of the letter at 11.50 pm.

“The MoH has no objection to the disclosure to your client, of a copy of the medical records relating to the deceased,” the response read.

It also went on to state, “The MoH has no objection to the preservation of the body of the deceased pending your client’s solicitation of expert medical advice/confirmation as to the medical condition of her husband and his cause of death.”

Burke first went to the Port of Spain General Hospital last Wednesday after he fell ill. The following day he was taken to the Arima Hospital to be quarantined, before he was transferred to the Couva hospital on Friday.

Relatives were told that his death was as a result of complications linked to COVID-19.

His death came as a shock to many, including police, as they were told that on Friday morning Burke was in high spirits and ‘appeared normal’ while talking to persons from the Couva Hospital, where he was being treated.

Hours later, he was dead.

More on this as it becomes available.  

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