Monday, August 04, 2008

Preventable Tragedies

“Yet another death that was preventable,” reads the headline from The Oregonian.  Unfortunately, it is all too common.

This preventable tragedy involved 20-year old Andrew Hanlon who had schizophrenia and was off treatment when he was shot by a police officer.  A few months earlier, his family out of frustration called 9-1-1.  That was enough to a police officer to get Hanlon to a hospital.  That got him evaluated but not much more.  There was no outpatient care to help Hanlon stay on treatment.

“Hanlon should be alive today,” read the editorial. “His death was preventable. Had he received appropriate treatment, he wouldn't have been pounding on a stranger's door at night and the police wouldn't have been called. If the officer on the scene had been better trained to deal with a mentally ill person, Hanlon wouldn't have been killed.”