Embattled parents seek transparency in alleged tunnel vision case involving Ontario’s top pathologist

High-profile researcher’s name had been removed from lab report of son who committed suicide after alleged ‘inappropriate relationship’ with student Embattled parents seek transparency in alleged tunnel vision case involving Ontario’s top pathologist A…

Embattled parents seek transparency in alleged tunnel vision case involving Ontario’s top pathologist

High-profile researcher’s name had been removed from lab report of son who committed suicide after alleged ‘inappropriate relationship’ with student

Embattled parents seek transparency in alleged tunnel vision case involving Ontario’s top pathologist

A super-respected Ontario doctor is fighting claims that he’s “like Clark Kent” after getting embroiled in allegations of wrongdoing in a controversial case linked to a 15-year-old boy.

Noor Afshar, who has since resigned from his job at a high-profile body-injury clinic, has long been at the centre of scrutiny over how the alleged inappropriate relationship between his son and a 15-year-old boy who attended a Toronto-area Catholic high school was handled.

What’s the worst crime you’ve seen on a school bus? Read more

A two-year probe into the school district’s actions around Afshar’s son has yet to release an official finding, and though there is some suggestion he’s been called a “liar” by his ex-wife, her allegations have been met with silence from medical authorities.

So is Afshar the victim of an ugly power play, an institutional breach of ethics, or just a misunderstood “facilitator”? Or is it all a good ol’-fashioned bout of teen-age infidelity?

Meanwhile, a group of parents has started a campaign in Toronto to have his name stricken from a now-defunct electronic autopsy chart, which was used to record pediatric deaths.

Afshar, a pathologist with high-profile family connections, insists he didn’t use the database as a distraction for his son, now 22, who killed himself the day after the lab found he had a blood-alcohol level four times over the legal limit at the time.

As a result of the incident and several others, Afshar quit from Calico Pathology, the organization he had run for years after getting a lengthy career in the family business. He has said he doesn’t know whether his stepson had a history of suicidal thoughts before the affair.

“I think Noor was so out of it in the beginning because he didn’t fully understand what had gone on with this girlfriend and so he’s trying to get his life back together but then he just end up lying more than ever,” said the boy’s father, Steve Burell.

His son, an online baseball pitcher, hanged himself in his home in April 2009 – a week after the autopsy for his blood-alcohol level was reportedly completed.

“In a matter of a few weeks he went from being this really engaging young man to this very private troubled person,” Burell said.

The father said his son was kind, quirky and sweet, except for the report of the laboratory. He brought it to him as a deeply troubling discovery, but had to wait until 10 years later to try to get some answers.

“The evidence of inappropriate contact was strong and getting stronger,” Burell said.

The case has already garnered the attention of various legal experts, including Rudy Boscovici, who said the boy’s father needed to take things a step further.

“In a situation like this where we know more than one side to the story, and where that story is starting to undermine the credibility of the other side, I think now is the time for the public inquiry into this,” Boscovici said.

Afshar is refusing to speak with reporters on the case, but released a statement through his son in 2012 in which he said the lab’s examination was used to determine the cause of death, adding: “Had a single insignificant fault in the tests resulted in a further analysis or confirmation of the findings, the death would have been declared ‘natural’ or ‘accidental’.”

The case got attention earlier this year after the boy’s mother, Mary Pinzino, signed an affidavit in court supporting a malpractice suit filed against the school district. She quit from her role as a superintendent in the school district in protest at the actions it took.

In that claim, Pinzino alleged the boy’s death was caused by the district’s lack of oversight and processes, saying the failure to deal with the allegations had “turned a blind

Leave a Comment