The grieving father of a 16-year-old Victoria boy who died from a drug overdose is calling for a coroner’s inquest into his son’s death.
Elliot Eurchuk died on April 20 after ingesting an opioid he bought on the streets.
“He took something to sleep and it killed him,” said his father, Brock Eurchuk. “It had fentanyl in it, and it shut his body down.”
WATCH: Overdose death of 16-year-old raises questions about health care system
The family says the overdose was linked to his dependency on a powerful painkiller.
Elliot had became addicted to the drug Dilaudid after undergoing a string of surgeries to treat various sports injuries. When his prescription ran out, he turned to the streets for his supply.
“In 2017 Elliot had four surgical procedures,” Elliot’s mother Rachel Staples wrote in a Facebook post. “Two for a fractured jaw that occurred in a soccer match and two shoulder reconstructions within four months of the jaw surgeries.
“Elliot was prescribed opioids around every surgery even though, as parents, we requested alternatives.”
The family is hoping a coroner’s inquest will bring attention to the standard of care that was applied in their son’s post-surgical treatment and possibly bring about changes in legislation.
In British Columbia, the Infants Act says children under 19 may consent to a medical treatment on their own under certain conditions: the health-care provider is sure the treatment is in the child’s best interest, and the child understands the potential risks and benefits.
The Eurchuk family says those rules didn’t give them a say in their son’s painkiller prescriptions.
“It literally handicapped our ability to parent our son,” said Eurchuk. “We were lost.”
The B.C. Coroners Service only received the family’s request on Friday. The Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions did not return Global BC’s calls for comment on Monday.
The family says they want action to be taken quickly to prevent any future tragedies.
“We don’t want to see another family go through what we have been through and are going through,” Brock Eurchuk said.