Restraints Being Blamed for Canadian Psych Patient’s Death

TORONTO – A Toronto Centre for Addiction and Mental Health patient’s 2005 death is being investigated by the coroner. Restraints are believed to be the cause of the man’s demise.

The patient in question, Jeffery James, had been strapped to his bed for five days after engaging in a sex act near a nursing station, according to the Globe and Mail. When the restraints were removed, James collapsed and died. A physician requested that James be kept in restraints, even though he hadn’t examined the patient in person.

On James’ first day of restraints, he informed his psychiatrist that he was willing to be locked in seclusion, but he did not want to be strapped down, according to reports.

Additionally, the hospital has a mandatory rule requiring an external authority to be called in to review cases where a patient has been restrained for more than three days. Currently, there is no one to make sure that the policy is followed. Hospital officials said that eventually someone would be in charge of the review.

According to a pathologist who recently testified in the inquest, restraints were the cause of the patient’s death. Hospital representatives, however, questioned if James’ weight (267 pounds) was more of a contributing factor.

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