Court concludes family cannot blame discharging psychiatrist for son's death
Nicholas Paradise committed suicide, or at any rate over-dosed on prescribed and un-prescribed medications, about one week after he was discharged from St Joseph Mercy Oakland. Previously diagnosed as bi-polar and suffering from depression, Paradise had been discharged with an order for outpatient therapy, however, the recommended program was not available to him on discharge. He failed to follow through on alternative treatment investigation, and died of "drug abuse" including liquid methadone and several prescribed medications.
The family filed suit against the supervising psychiatrist and the Trinity Health system, arguing that they were negligent in discharging Paradise without adequate post-discharge treatment. The Court concluded that the causal connection between the young man's discharge care and his death was too remote to make the health care providers responsible for the death. The judges noted that they particularly relied upon the fact that the apparent cause of death, liquid methadone, was not a prescribed medication, and that the "manner of death" was "undeterminable."