W5 uncovers hundreds of suicide deaths by patients in Canadian hospitals
Annie Burns-Pieper, W5 Associate Producer
Published Friday, October 3, 2014 11:58AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, October 4, 2014 11:00PM EDT
Data obtained by W5 in a months-long search has revealed that in the past ten years hundreds of Canadians have taken their own lives while in the care of hospitals.
Patients, many suffering from mental illnesses, have been able to use means available at a hospital to end their lives while they are supposed to be under hospital care.
Families of these individuals are amazed that their loved ones would be able to manage this while under strict observation.
The Tiwari family brought 20 year old Prashant Tiwari to the Brampton Civic this past June after a failed suicide attempt, feeling they had done the right thing to get him help.
"We knew my brother was suicidal, we knew he was depressed, we sent him to the hospital on time and he died anyways," said Gautam Tiwari.
His family never could have imagined that Prashant would be able to go missing for near to three hours and hang himself while under psychiatric care at that hospital.
The family is now calling for a coroner's inquest into his death. Yet, despite coroners inquests and other investigations into similar suicide deaths across the country, in-care suicide deaths continue to happen from coast to coast.
Former B.C. coroner and nurse instructor Kathleen Stephany thinks Canada needs a coordinated plan to prevent these deaths. "What we need in Canada is we need a national strategy for suicide prevention,” said Stephany, “you would have standards of practice for every single hospital in the country.”
If you have any further information on this topic you would like to share, please email our team at W5@ctv.ca
Prashant Tiwari’s brother Gautam shares a new song and video he and his brother’s best friends have published in his memory.
In light of Prashant’s death we decided to make a song that would not only pay homage to him, but try to accomplish what he so desperately wanted to accomplish while he was living.
The song “Elevate” is meant to tell a classic tale of a struggling person (in this case a prostitute) and the daily trials and tribulations they must go through. Prashant was an activist through and through who wanted to bring change and light to groups who were socially neglected.
We decided to not to make this song about the issue of suicide, but instead to draw parallels to the issue of depression in general using another topic; prostitution. This way, more people could understand the concept as opposed to just the people who were directly affected by suicide. We felt it much more appropriate as we weren’t comfortable at this point in making a direct homage. It would feel like an exploitation of Prashant’s struggle which we value the privacy of.
Most importantly we want people to know that if they want; they can “elevate” beyond their struggles no matter the hardship. We wanted to show people that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and this was our way of doing it. – Gautam Tiwari