Media Statement - Ontario Health Minister Misses the Point in Tiwari Suicide Case

TORONTO, Feb. 26, 2015 /CNW/ - The lawyer representing a family, whose son was able to commit suicide while under close supervision at Brampton Civic Hospital last June, is challenging a statement made by Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins yesterday.

"Families put their trust in the expertise of hospitals and staff to protect suicidal patients," said Michael Smitiuch, the lawyer representing the Tiwari family. "Hospitals are supposed to be safe havens, yet the minister of health is suggesting they are anything but. It's a troubling message that undermines the role hospitals should be playing in protecting high-risk patients." 

The family of Prashant Tiwari has filed a $12.5 million wrongful death suit against William Osler Health System, after the 20-year old Brampton man was able to take his own life, while he was supposed to be under close staff supervision in the psychiatric unit of Brampton Civic Hospital. Although Tiwari was to be checked by staff every 15 minutes, he was left unattended for over two and a half hours. His body was found later in the hospital washroom. 

"Regrettably when it comes to suicide there's no guarantee anywhere, anytime," said Eric Hoskins, Ontario's Minister of Health, when asked to comment on the case yesterday.

"It's disappointing that Minister Hoskins has completely missed the point," added Smitiuch. "He should be calling for a review of procedures at all Ontario hospitals to improve the care and safety of high-risk patients. The focus should be on preventing further suicide deaths. These deaths should be preventable in a secure hospital setting."

SOURCE Smitiuch Injury Law Professional Corporation

For further information: Danna O'Brien, danna@obriencommunications.ca, 416-500-0699; Michael Smitiuch, mike@sil.lawyer, 416-621-1551

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