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3rd SIU investigation into death involving police administration of naloxone

Last Updated Apr 29, 2018 at 3:06 pm EST

A small bottle of the opiate overdose treatment drug, naloxone, also known by its brand name Narcan is displayed THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mel Evans

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is looking in to the death of a 50-year-old man in Brampton following the administering of the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone.

In a release, the SIU says Peel police responded to a call for medical assistance around 11 p.m. on Friday.

When officers arrived, CPR was performed on the man and naloxone was administered.

Paramedics arrived and took the man to hospital where he was pronounced dead. A post-mortem is scheduled for Sunday.

This is the third death involving the police administration of naloxone to be investigated by the province’s police watch dog. The SIU invokes its mandate when police are involved in cases where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

Two other investigations were launched for similar incidents — one on March 12 in Brampton and a second on April 5 in Mississauga.

In both cases, the SIU found that naloxone administration did not contribute to the deaths.

After the second investigation was launched, the head of the Peel Regional Police Association said the SIU should not be involved in such cases.

“It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” said Adrian Woolley at the time. “It’s unreasonable for officers to be under investigation, when they’re just administering lifesaving techniques. First responders are not under the same scrutiny that we are. We understand (that there is oversight) and accept it. But this I think goes above and beyond…”

A few days following the announcement of the the first investigation in March, Premier Kathleen Wynne said changes will be made to the Police Services Act to address the issue.

“There are actually changes in our Police Services Act that will address this because we are saying to front line workers ‘you need to be able to administer naloxone and you shouldn’t be afraid to do that, we trust your professionalism’,” said Wynne “So there are changes that we are bringing forth in the Police Services Act that will address that.”

Earlier this month the Ministry of the Attorney General confirmed to CityNews that it is writing the new regulation and hopes to have it in place by this summer.

Related stories:

SIU investigates death involving police administration of naloxone

SIU stands by commitment to probe deaths involving naloxone

Ontario to change oversight of police who administer naloxone