The death of an indigenous woman, Joyce Echaquan, last year was preventable and an “undeniable” case of racism, a Canadian coroner has said.

Ms Echaquan, a mother of seven, died shortly after recording a video of hospital staff insulting her.

In her report, coroner Géhane Kamel found that the woman had died of excess fluid in her lungs.

Staff at the hospital in Joliette, Quebec had incorrectly assumed she was suffering from a narcotics withdrawal.

At a Tuesday press conference to explain the findings of her three-week inquiry, Ms Kamel said Ms Echaquan, who had a history of heart problems, was “infantilised” and labelled as a drug abuser by healthcare staff despite there being no evidence to support this.

This mistaken assumption affected Ms Echaquan’s care, Ms Kamel said, and contributed to her death.

Asked if she thought Ms Echaquan would be alive today if she were white, Ms Kamel replied, “I think so” in French.

The coroner, who said the inquiry “shook” her, appeared to hold back tears at some points during the press conference.

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