How Is The Prosecution of Nurses Who Kill Their Patients “unprecedented”?


In an “unprecedented” move, Midland police have charged a former nurse at Georgian Bay General Hospital with manslaughter for allegedly cutting off a patient’s life support without authorization.

Joanna Flynn, 50, is also charged with criminal negligence causing death, and was arrested on Thursday, Midland police announced.

The alleged victim, Deanna Leblanc, was 39. Police declined to name her, but Leblanc’s widower Michael Leblanc confirmed her identity to the Star. She died at the hospital on March 2, 2014.

Leblanc’s case seems to be unusual in several ways. Her widower says she spent less than 24 hours in hospital, for example. And as Handelman noted, it is typically a doctor, not a nurse, who ends life support, as Flynn is alleged to have done.

“If anything, it may bring home to health practitioners the importance of getting proper consent to terminate treatment,” Handelman said. (gee, ya think!?)

Michael Leblanc said he didn’t know how to feel on hearing that charges had been laid.

“I want it to be over,” he said. “It’s just me and my two boys without her, and it’s a s***y situation, to tell you the truth.”

Thirty-six hours before being sent to Georgian Bay General, Deanne Leblanc was in Newmarket for a knee scope, her widower said.

“It took about half an hour.”

At 3 a.m. on March 2, back home in Midland, “all hell broke loose.” Deanne, a salesperson at a local furniture store, woke up in a panic.

“She told me she was dying and to help her, and call 911,” Michael said.

“Then she ended up in the hospital, and she ended up on life support, and …”

“I can’t say anything about that,” he replied, when asked if he authorized the removal of his wife’s life support.

Does the word “unprecedented” have some kind of other usage in Canada? That leads me to believe that this might actually be commonplace?

  • How can it be unprecedented? Nurses are notorious serial killers.

    Ontario did have the awful case of Susan Nelles who by all accounts was unjustly accused of murdering babies in here care.

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      I would think just unplugging a woman from life support would be rather a big deal.

      • Frau Katze

        I’ve read of several cases. Sometimes it’s a doctor.

        Nothing is unprecedented here.

        • Drunk_by_Noon

          Doctors can unilaterally just unplug someone from life support in Canada?
          Is that really true?

          That sounds as insane as saying that there is a pyramid of human skulls kept in the basement of Mackenzie Tower in Ottawa.

          • Frau Katze

            I honestly don’t know.

    • Frau Katze

      I remember the Toronto case. It was a huge deal. No one was ever arrested. But if she did it, she hasn’t done anything like that according to the Wiki article.

      Serial killers rarely stop. But who did it? The Wiki article says it might have been due to something in the drug.

    • Justin St.Denis

      Please! poor Susan Nelles was CRUCIFIED by a witch-hunting media. What happened to Nelles shouldn’t happen to a cockroach! When she was COMPLETELY EXONERATED and the whole thing exposed as a plot by a jealous colleague, the media barely whispered the news. Shameful in the extreme, but to be expected by the MSM presstitutes.

      • Drunk_by_Noon

        I never heard of the case before today and know nothing beyond what I read in the Wikipedia article, but it looks like she was railroaded by the media and the deaths were not really an aberration at all, but a statistical anomaly combined with some very bad testing procedures.

      • That’s why I said unjustly accused;)

        • Justin St.Denis

          I know you did, BCF. ButI was very close to the case for business reasons, and was horrified by the injustice that I was witnessing. “Unjustly accused” does not BEGIN to describe what happened to Susan Nelles. “Unjustly slaughtered” would be metaphorically accurate.

  • Jade

    Only extreme liberals would thing it is unprecedented. As a former Navy corpsmen and a nurse your vow is to care for not kill your patients.

  • WalterBannon


    this is premeditated murder

    she should also face an immediate revocation of her nursing license and immediate termination of her employment for cause.

    This is the slippery slope of assisted suicide – a vision of the future if the liberals ever get back in power, in which some scumbag in the medical profession abandons their oath of “do no harm” and replaces it with “kill them if you think its right”.

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      That’s kind of where my head is at.
      I know we like to cling to our guns and religion in America, but come on!

  • andycanuck

    I hope they check her access to any other DNR etc. patient deaths. I suppose there always has to be a first time but how likely is it to be caught on patient No.1? (And it looks like YouTube doesn’t have the early SNL parody TV show Mercy Killers listed or I’d have linked it here.)

  • cmh

    of course it’s commonplace