Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Gheorghe Gruici

Inquest into the Death of Gheorghe GRUICI

Delivered on : 30 December 2014

Delivered at :Perth

Finding of : N/A

Recommendations : N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary :  The deceased was a 72 year old man and a sentenced prisoner at the time of his death. He died in Royal Perth Hospital from organ failure in the context of significant disease of the kidney and heart.

As the deceased was in the custody of the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Corrective Services a mandatory inquest was required to examine and comment on the quality of the supervision, treatment and care of the deceased while in the care of the Department.

On 9 October 1997 the deceased was received into prison on remand. He was identified at the time as suffering from several medical conditions. There were concerns about lung function, diabetes and back pain. The deceased was overweight and smoked 40 cigarettes a day. On 21 October 1998 he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

While on remand in custody the deceased frequently attended the prison medical centre complaining of “all-over pain” comprising headaches and pain in the legs, neck and abdomen.  He was also noted to be experiencing hallucinations and delusions. His condition deteriorated further over time.

In January 2013 blood tests showed that the deceased had chronic renal failure and he was referred to Royal Perth Hospital renal clinic. On 22 March 2013 the deceased was transferred to the Casuarina Prison infirmary due to the need for 24 hour nursing care. On 20 May 2013 the deceased was registered as Phase 1 on the Department’s terminally ill prisoner register. On 19 June 2013 he was registered as Phase 2 on the Department’s register, indicating that death was imminent and from 25 June 2013 the deceased was treated palliative until his death.

The Coroner found that the Department’s care of the deceased was complicated by his serious mental illness, but that the deceased was provided with suitable treatment and care from Departmental medical staff and through referrals to specialists and hospitals. The Coroner found that during the deceased’s last days he was given appropriate palliative care until he died.

The Coroner found that the deceased died on 25 June 2013 from organ failure in an elderly man receiving terminal palliative care for renal failure, a chest infection and infective endocarditis. The Coroner found that death occurred by way of natural causes.

Catch Words : Death in Custody : Natural Causes : Mental Health : Renal Failure

Last updated: 22-Jan-2024

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