Brickbat: Canadian Healthcare

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The Royal Canadian Mounted Police says there were no “obvious signs” Alan Ruel was having medical problems when he was in their custody, arrested for being drunk in a public place. But surveillance video from his jail cell shows him repeatedly collapsing, then sitting slumped in the corner for hours and finally lying on the floor with one side of his body twitching while the other half didn’t move. It turned out Ruel wasn’t drunk at all. A lawsuit says Ruel suffered a massive stroke that left half his body paralyzed. His lawyer says Ruel had likely suffered a minor stroke earlier, when he entered a bar with disheveled clothing and slurred speech seeking a friend. The bartender called police, who refused Ruel’s request for a breathalyzer test and his insistence that he wasn’t drunk, and instead arrested him and put him in a cell, where he remained for 18 hours before anyone called for medical help.

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