Tuesday, March 12, 2013 | 2 a.m.
The recent article about alleged patient dumping, “From Las Vegas mental health facility, man sent by bus to Sacramento,” was saddening and shocking. What left me equally disturbed was the quote by Nevada State Health Officer Dr. Tracey Green. According to the story, she said it was possible that a man’s mental status could change considerably between his release from a psychiatric hospital and arrival in a new place. “So many things can happen in between, so it’s hard to draw a conclusion of any fault,” she said.
Given that she might have been misquoted or taken out of context, clearly the man featured in the story, released with medication for three days and instructions to dial 911 if he didn’t know what to do, was not competent to function in a city he didn’t know, with no relatives or friends there.
I expect Gov. Brian Sandoval and Dr. Green to have an audit of the state’s practices and define more humanely what qualifies as competence to relocate to a new location. I expect Dr. Green to not assess blame but to accept the need for best practices.
Facilities here cannot justify purchasing bus tickets to California cities.