Death of Karim Ouellet: diabetes and drugs involved

The coroner’s report lifts the veil on the tragic circumstances that led to Karim Ouellet’s death. We learn that the singer, who had developed a drug addiction, had stopped treatment for the diabetes he had been suffering from for several years. After creating a vacuum around himself, he was isolated and dead for about two months when police found him in a studio in lower Quebec on January 17.

The coroner nevertheless concludes that the 37-year-old singer-songwriter died of natural causes from complications from diabetic ketoacidosis, which was a direct result of poorly controlled diabetes.

Karim Ouellet, who lived with type 1 diabetes from a young age, relied on daily insulin shots. However, the singer has always struggled to accept his condition, we can learn from the coroner’s report released on Wednesday. He had also been hospitalized a few months before his death and was again showing signs of diabetic ketoacidosis. The singer, who was struggling with mental health issues, hadn’t looked after his diabetes for a year at the time.

Diabetic ketoacidosis has a very rapid onset and is fatal within a few days. However, people with diabetes can recognize the warning signs and take action to avoid the worst. The coroner suspects that Karim Ouellet’s drug use may partly explain his inactivity despite his condition.

“However, the presence of methamphetamine, another drug of abuse, was detected in the blood samples. This drug could have had the same effect [que la cocaïne] about Mr Ouellet, who, while intoxicated, was no more concerned about his diabetes than in the previous months,” writes coroner Me Sophie Régnière.

drug problems

Bags of cocaine, a drug he had been addicted to since 2019, were found at the scene alongside methamphetamine. However, it is impossible to know if Karim Ouellet consumed it before his death.

When police made the gruesome discovery on January 17, his body was in the process of being mummified. He was lying on his back on the floor of the music studio he rented. It was the foul smell that alerted the neighbors.

Karim Ouellet was last seen in November. After an inquest, the coroner estimated the singer would have died on November 15, two months before we found out about his death.

Barely two weeks earlier, on October 31, Karim Ouellet had been hospitalized after being found unconscious after being poisoned. He refused treatment despite the urging of staff and left the hospital that same day.

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