The Fatality Inquiries Act in Alberta provides a framework for both mandatory and discretionary fatality inquiries. For decades members of the Field Health Law Group have represented health care organizations and personnel in Fatality Inquiries as well as Coroner’s Inquest outside of Alberta. These inquiries focus upon deaths that arise directly or indirectly in the realm of provincial health care and have a legislative mandate that includes making recommendations to prevent deaths in similar circumstances.
The Field Health Law Group works diligently with our clients to prepare for these public inquiries which often focus upon both systemic and policy issues. Our preparation includes thoroughly briefing frontline staff who are witnesses before the Inquiry, meeting with and briefing communications staff regarding potential media risks, and assisting with the development of key messages for internal distribution. When warranted, we have daily debriefings with senior administrative and communications staff to summarize crucial evidence and anticipate media headlines.
During the Inquiry we engage in careful consultation and advocacy to ensure that our clients are represented fairly and to ensure, as much as possible, that any recommendations arising from the Inquiry are warranted and practical. Field lawyers also work with our clients in relation to the implementation of any recommendations made by the Courts.