Biden: Abuses cited in review of Delaware Psychiatric Center

By Chris Rizo | May 12, 2008

WILMINGTON, Del. (Legal Newsline)-Delaware Attorney General Joseph "Beau" Biden III announced Monday that the Delaware Department of Justice has concluded its ten-month investigation of allegations of patient abuse at the Delaware Psychiatric Center.

Biden, a Democrat, said the investigation found "systemic violations of the state's Mental Health Patients' Bill of Rights" at the New Castle, Del., hospital.

Among the violations: the hospital failed to prevent abuse of patients by employees and other patients, failed to prevent mistreatment of patients through inappropriate use of medications, isolation and restraints, and the hospital failed to prevent neglect of patients.

The state Departments of Justice and Health and Social Services have reached a legally binding agreement detailing corrective measures and setting a timetable for compliance, Biden said in a statement.

The hospital's decision to enter into the memorandum of agreement, he said, "demonstrates that DPC has committed to ensuring its patients the care and treatment they are entitled to under the law."

Biden added that the agreement also allows officials to begin addressing the problems at the psychiatric center "now rather than engage in a lengthy litigation process."

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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