Attorneys that are caring and compassionate, who take suicide prevention seriously
On any given day there are over 98 people that have died by suicide, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends or co-workers. There are some of these friends or family members deaths, approximately 5 or 6, per day that will have occurred in a hospital or because the patient was discharged prematurely, while still at risk for committing suicide.
Suicide statistics are alarming and in 2011 the National Institute of Mental Health reports showed that more than 90 percent of American’s that die due to suicide suffered from a treatable form of mental illness or a substance abuse disorder. Thousands of suicide victims could be alive today, if they had proper treatment, competent care and protection. Prior to treatment, the mental health provider will need to assess the person’s condition, detect there is a mental issue or suicidal tendency. This needs to be done before the individual reaches a point, where they reach the point of desperation, where they attempt or succeed with this act. Family and friends of a loved one that has been diagnosed and referred for psychiatric care believe this individual is now safe from causing harm to themselves. This is not true! Loved ones are not always safe, after being diagnosed. Many licensed mental health professionals are not properly trained, if they do have any training, in assessing, detecting, treatment and the protection of a suicidal patient or individual.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, in 2001, the President’s New Freedom Commission in 2003 and the Institute of Medicine in 2002, all believed that it was necessary for improved training and education. They said that the education in recognition and treatment of at-risk individuals for suicidal behavior, needed to improve. The recommendations that were made a decade ago, or nearly a decade have mostly been ignored by health care providers. Psychiatric hospitals and clinicians have expert training available to them, but it is not being taken advantage of by most mental health professionals. Normally the thoughts of these providers, such as hospital CEO’s is that the odds of one of their patients committing suicide are relatively low. The hospital and the clinician are both well insured, which means that the insurance company will provide an expert team of litigation lawyers. The tactic these expert lawyers will use, will blame the suicide victim and in some cases even their family. In the event that the family does win a judgment or settlement, the insurance company will pay. The hospital or mental health professional will continue treating patients, without seeking suicide prevention training. Their thoughts on this is that it is time consuming and it takes them away from patients they can bill and their family or off time.
Communities and families both believe that once a loved one is seen at a hospital emergency room, a mental health center, counseling agency, a psychiatric facility or by a private practice mental health professional that the loved one or citizen is safe.
Why, is this false thinking, because mental health professionals, hospitals and organizations have been resistant in enforcement of safety rules for suicidal patients. Their reasoning is that it is expensive to enforce safety rules, since it will involve both training and time. The only way that families can make this change, when they have lost a loved one or their loved one is in jeopardy is a lawsuit.
If the mental health community will not protect suicidal patients, then it is up to the families and communities to hold them responsible. Using the judicial system and obtaining justice, loved ones or fellow citizens are at risk and this type of dangerous care continues. The jury represents the community and will ensure that families are protected from negligent clinician and psychiatric hospital care or lack of proper safety measures.
Ehline Law Firm, PC has a Clear Perception of the Problem
Attorney Michael Ehline, of Ehline Law Firm PC has a clear perception of the problem and as an experienced trial lawyer, litigator and patient advocate, he knows change is necessary. When a loved one commits suicide it is emotionally devastating and more could have been done, the family often believes. They feel guilt, after the initial shock and the pain of the needless loss. The spouse, children, parents, siblings and close friends suffer from this tragedy and may have taken the steps they thought would help. One of the facts about the individual that is suicidal, is some of these people take their lives, while under the care of a mental health professional, who failed to meet the standard of care for this patient.
Medical professionals have a duty to care for mentally ill patients, and most suicides are preventable, when the proper care and safety steps are taken. Medical professionals can and should have the training to reduce the risk of suicide of the patients they treat. This is why it is troubling that most mental health professionals do not have this training. Ehline Law Firm PC, attorneys are committed to suicide prevention and assisting the family that suffers this kind of tragedy. The only way it is possible to reduce the amount of suicides is to hold the health professionals accountable. This can be done with a suicide malpractice lawsuit, which can stop these deaths.
The Ehline Law Firm PC, has a reputation for successfully representing the family of impatient suicides at mental health facilities and with other types of mental health malpractice cases. Our attorneys are dedicated to defending the family and their loved one’s rights to have had the proper mental health care and safety. Primary care physicians may understand some of the disorders that are linked to suicide, but they normally do not have training to deal with suicidal patients. Hospitals and clinic staffs usually do not have the proper training that is adequate for handling these types of patients. On top of this, health care workers in facilities, often make low wages and are asked to work long shifts. They are often expected to take on responsibilities that they are not trained for and have little or no experience. These health care professionals mean well, but without the proper training their intentions are not enough. The person with mental health issues and their family deserve proper and adequate mental health care, whether by the private practice professional, hospital or mental health facility. When the patient does not receive the proper treatment by a mental health professional and takes their life, this is due to psychiatric negligence. In an inpatient facility, this could be due to a healthcare worker that failed to check on the suicidal patient’s well-being. The family that has lost a loved one to suicide requires a skilled and experienced attorney, who will assist them in holding the negligent parties responsible.
Attorney Michael Ehline believes it is his responsibility to hold mental health care professionals to provide a safe standard of care. Preventing families from feeling the devastation of losing a loved one to suicide is his mission. Without the threat of being held accountable, though litigation, there is no standard of care, for hospitals who needlessly endanger these types of patients or clinicians that take short-cuts putting their patients at risk of committing suicide.
Ehline Law Firm PC are dedicated to providing the best representation for mental health patients and their families, in all counties and cities in California. Contact Ehline Law Firm PC for a free consultation, toll-free at 888-400-9721 or fill out our online contact form. Our lawyers are committed to assisting the mentally ill and their family.