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Winnipeg guitarist Ron Siwicki seeks bail after mom left on floor to die

01/05/2015 12:39 EST | Updated 03/07/2015 05:59 EST
A Winnipeg man accused of leaving his fallen, elderly mother on the floor of her home for five days until she died was expected to seek bail today.

Ron Siwicki, 62, was arrested Dec. 17 and charged with criminal negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessities of life.

He was scheduled to be in court at 2 p.m. CT Monday.

The incident took place in November in the home he shared with his 89-year-old mother, Betty, in the Garden City neighbourhood.

​Police allege Betty fell, injured herself and was unable to get up on her own. Siwicki, a well-known guitar player in Winnipeg, did not call for medical attention, police said.

Siwicki's lawyers have told CBC that Betty did not want to continue her life, and did not want her son to call for help.

They said Siwicki covered her with a blanket and fed her nutritional drinks and water.

She died five days later.

'Comfort care'

Wanda Morris, chief executive of of Dying with Dignity Canada, said the Siwicki story is sad and shows that there needs to be more education for families who may find themselves in a situation like this, with a loved one who refuses medical care.

​"Care is a broad term, so the education I'd like to give people is to know that you always have the right to refuse a treatment," she said.

"So if she didn't want to go to hospital, [it's] absolutely her right. She didn't want surgery, absolutely her right. But she still could have been given comfort care, and I think had a much more peaceful way to die.

"She clearly wanted comfort care only and wanted to end her life, but she didn't have to do that on a floor, and I suspect in some pain probably from a broken hip."

Morris added that medical care could have been called.

"She didn't even need to leave the home — but certainly, she could have died in a bed with perhaps some morphine to control the pain."

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