On December 12, 2008, Hamilton resident Donna Molnar was taken to St. Joseph’s hospital after attempting suicide. This was not her first suicide attempt and it would not be her last. Barely two weeks later she was found in a field by a rescue dog after lying in the snow for three days. Last year Ms. Molnar reached a significant settlement in a $12.5 million lawsuit against two doctors at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton as well as her family doctor.
Ms. Molnar vs St Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton – Psychiatric Malpractice
Ms. Molnar’s position was that her family doctor and those at St. Joseph’s had demonstrated negligence in her mental health care. She had been experiencing severe anxiety and depression for some time and had made three previous suicide attempts before disappearing from her home on December 19, 2008. She was discharged from St. Joe’s after swallowing pills without seeing a psychiatrist on December 12 and was not referred to a psychiatrist after visiting her family doctor three days later. She alleged that her doctors failed to take appropriate actions to help a person clearly experiencing a mental health crisis.
Psychiatric Malpractice – Negligence in Mental Health
People suffering from mental health issues are vulnerable and depend on the expertise of their psychiatrists the same way someone with respiratory issues would trust in their doctor to diagnose and treat their ailment. Like all doctors, psychiatrists owe a duty of care to their patients and if their patient suffers injury or wrongful death, the psychiatrist may be held liable for damages.
Psychiatric negligence may include:
- Failure to properly diagnose and treat a patient
- Failure to conduct a proper suicide risk assessment
- Failure to prevent a patient’s suicide, self harm, or harm of others
- Negligent use of psychopharmacological drug
Suicidal thinking is usually associated with problems that can be treated. If you cannot think of solutions besides suicide, it is not that solutions do not exist, only that you are unable to see them at the moment. If you are feeling suicidal or know someone who is, visit suicideprevention.ca or call a crisis centre such as Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK). Your life matters.
Medical Malpractice Experts
Medical malpractice suits are complicated and require the expertise of an experienced personal injury lawyer. If you or a loved one has suffered from psychiatric negligence, contact KCY at LAW by calling (905) 639-0999 or online to book your consultation and get the compensation you deserve.