As summarized in the magazine, the patient had been voluntarily admitted to the hospital because he was experiencing an overwhelming sense of dread and hearing voices telling him to hurt himself. The man denied having suicidal ideas. At some point, the man was confined to his room because he ad touched another patient inappropriately and could not respond to staff mmbers' questions about the incident. The on-call physician was not notified of the confinement, and the staff continued with the standard safety checks every 15 minutes. On one of these checks the patient was found hanged with his bedsheets.
It is very important for psychiatric hospitals to protect their patients. Unfortunately, this story is not the only example of shortcomings at psychiatric hospitals in the recent years. In 2010, for instance, Hancock Treatment Center in Williamsburg, Virginia (VA), was reported to have several problems related to a failure to protect patients from abuse.
Patients who suffer from a mental disease can be very vulnerable when a hospital’s staff fails to meet the necessary standard of care. These cases can also be hard to prove, but in the right factual circumstances, an experienced injury attorney can gather the proof needed to prevail in a medical malpractice case.