Doctor who specializes in patient safety expected to testify in Hamilton paramedic trial

The defence is expected to call a doctor who specializes in clinical decision making today as its next witness in the trial of two former Hamilton paramedics, who are charged with not properly caring for a dying patient. 

Steven Snively, 55, and Christopher Marchant, 32, face the criminal charge of failing to provide the necessaries of life for Yosif Al-Hasnawi. The 19-year-old was shot at Main and Sanford in Hamilton on Dec. 2, 2017 and died that same night. 

Both paramedics have testified in their own defence that they thought the teen was having a psychiatric emergency.

They also thought the teen was shot with a BB or pellet gun. But Al-Hasnawi was actually shot with a .22 caliber handgun, and its hollow-point bullet perforated an artery and vein. 

He was shot at 8:55 p.m. and was pronounced dead about an hour later at St. Joseph’s Hospital. It took paramedics 23 minutes to leave for the hospital, the court has heard.

The defence is expected to call Dr. Pat Croskerry as its next witness. He is the director of Dalhousie University’s critical thinking program. His research, according to the university’s website, focuses on patient safety and clinical decision making. 

Other interests include diagnostic failure, and affective and cognitive de-biasing. 

The trial began at the John Sopinka Courthouse in Hamilton on Nov. 24 and is continuing online. It is a judge-only superior court trial, and will be decided by Justice Harrison Arrell. 

Crown attorneys are Scott Patterson and Linda Shin. 

Jeffrey Manishen of Hamilton represents Marchant and Michael DelGobbo represents Snively. 

The person who shot Al-Hasnawi, Dale King, was acquitted last year of second-degree murder. That case is being appealed.

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