Dallas VA Hospital Closes Psychiatric Unit After 4th Suicide

By: AP
By: AP

DALLAS (AP) - There have now been four suicides among mentally
ill patients treated at the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center
this year.
That's led the hospital to close its psychiatric ward, and
investigators from the national VA office are expected to arrive
next week to assess safety.
Joseph Dalpiaz is director of the Dallas-based VA North Texas
Health Care System. He ordered the psychiatric ward shutdown after
a man hanged himself April 4th. The hospital stopped admitting
patients to its 51-bed psychiatric unit the next day.
In January, two men who met in the hospital's psychiatric ward
committed suicide days after being released. The third to commit
suicide was a veteran who hanged himself on a frame attached to his
Shirley Bemps said her husband committed suicide in the
psychiatric ward in February, and she blames doctors for his death.
She says that if her husband "was a high-risk patient like they
said, he should have been watched and monitored."
Information from: The Dallas Morning News,

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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