Muliaga Coroner’s Report

Stuff has a story on the coroner’s report into the death of Key points:

  • Found that Folole Muliaga … died … of natural causes being an arrhythmia caused by morbid obesity
  • The cessation of oxygen therapy and the stress arising from the fact of disconnection (as opposed to the way in which the power was disconnected) have contributed to her death
  • His impression of Mr A  (the Vircom contractor) having observed him at the inquest hearing was that he was open, honest, frank and careful in giving of his evidence

I found the whole saga sad. I do think it was grossly politicised, which turned it into a game of who is right or wrong based on incomplete facts. The reality is that there were many contributing factors to what happened.

Certainly do deserve some criticism as they were too quick to cut off, considering part payments were being made. Termination should be a last resort, not just a method to speed up payment.

I have no doubt the Vircom employee would not have cut it off, had he been aware of the oxygen machine. The evidence was he uses his discretion the same day to not disconnect other vulnerable households. Having said that he could have looked harder for clues such as the tubes.

As sad as it is for the family, I don’t think they they did everything they could have done. If you think someone is sick take them to the hospital.

Also, tragically Mrs Muliaga may have hid from her own family the extent of her illness. This was done with good motivation not to be a burden on them, but I am sure they would rather have known how sick she was.

And the DHB could also it seems have done better in their communicating to the family.

So the end of a sad chapter. By all accounts Mrs Muliaga was a lovely woman and she was prinmarily killed be her obesity, but complicated by the stress from the disconnection.

If people comment on the issue, it is fine you may have a variety of views as to what factors were or were not relevant and contributed most to what happened. But please do so in a respectful way.

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