Patient Dies after Being Removed from Canadian Hospital
Samwel Uko went to the hospital twice in the same day for mental health issues. The second time he was brought in by local police.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has paid $81,357 to the family of a college football player who died by suicide after being forcibly removed from Regina General Hospital’s emergency room.
The incident happened May 21, 2020 after Samwel Uko, 20, sought help twice from the hospital because he was struggling with mental health issues. He initially went to the hospital because he was acting paranoid and hearing voices. Uko was released later that morning after being examined and after he had been referred to a mental health clinic.
That same day in the late afternoon, Regina police officers brought Uko back to the hospital. About 45 minutes later, he was escorted out by security.
“Samwel was urged to go back to the emergency room if he felt worse,” according to a statement obtained by the CBC from the attorney for Uko’s family. “However, when he did feel worse and had the police take him to the emergency room, he was not given the proper care he needed. Instead he was escorted out of the building by security. The fact the Samwel was escorted [to the hospital] by police on the second occasion emphasized his mental deterioration from earlier that day. This rejection by the medical staff might have been the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back.”
Uko’s family has also filed a civil suit against SHA. The agency apologized to the family in July 2020 and admitted to not providing follow-up care to Uko.
SHA is also defending itself, saying the hospital’s dismissal of Uko was because the facility had difficulty determining Uko’s identity, not due to discrimination. Uko was born in South Sudan and settled in Canada in 2005 with his family.
SHA further claims that when he was at the hospital, Uko denied having suicidal thoughts, reports CBC.
An inquest into the matter is tentatively scheduled for September.
If you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional information.
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