HEALTH MINISTER Terrence Deyalsingh was served on Saturday with a pre-action protocol letter on behalf of the wife of deceased Sea Lots businessman Cedric “Burkie” Burke in a bid to get his medical records and an autopsy done on him.
Felicia Samuel, through her attorneys Richard Clarke-Wills and Chelsea John, wrote to Deyalsingh as well as Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram asking for the record of Burke's treatment from the time he was admitted to hospital up to his death.
He went to the Port of Spain General Hospital on Wednesday and was taken to the Arima hospital on Thursday. He died at the Couva hospital on Friday.
They also copied, in the letter, funeral home OP Allen Funeral Directors, as they are also seeking to stop any burial or cremation of the father of 17.
The lawyers said this would "allow the family to have an independent autopsy conducted in the absence of confirmation that the deceased in fact died from covid19 or complications related thereto.” The health officials have 12 hours to respond.
The letter said Burke had told Clarke-Wills that he was “administered something” which made him uneasy.
“I am further instructed that Mr Burke had a conversation with his business partner around 9 am wherein Mr Burke indicated to him that he felt numb as a result of something that was administered to him. The aforementioned raises suspicion as to the cause of death.
"In the circumstances, our client is not satisfied that the cause of death of her husband is in fact due to covid19 and or covid19-related complications.”
The letter added that while Burke was told he was covid19-positive, he was not given any documentation to confirm this.
The Health Ministry has stopped autopsies for anyone who died from covid19 as it is against best practice as advised by the World Health Organization since it is believed that the virus can spread from a body. The bodies are also usually disposed of quickly.