A mother of a young man who died of dementia has spoken out against the “shocking” treatment she received from a doctor in his state of mind, telling the BBC: “I have always been very clear that my son’s death was not his fault.
I had a mental illness in the early days and I had been suffering for many years.”
The father, who asked not to be named, said he was not prepared to leave his family in an area of the country with a high suicide rate.
The man said he did not understand how a doctor could claim he was the reason for his son’s suicide and said he would “never forget” the last words he heard from his son.
“I think it’s wrong.
I think it is cruel,” he said.
The BBC spoke to a number of people who knew the father, including the family’s lawyer, and one said they believed the doctor was lying.
He said the family had spoken to the doctor in recent weeks and were prepared to face the consequences if the doctor continued to insist the family did not need to see him.
The mother of the man killed in his sleep, who died aged 21 in May, said she did not accept the treatment she was receiving and believed it was an attempt to “control” the father.
“We were very clear with him that it was not because he was a doctor but he had the mental illness and we didn’t know how to fix it,” she said.
“So, I don’t understand how someone can say that.”
Dr Robert Smith, a consultant psychiatrist and an expert in suicide, said the doctor who told the family he was taking the young man’s life was “not a very good doctor”.
“What is worrying about this is he is lying to them, telling them he is not taking his life and that’s not true,” he told the BBC.
“He’s a doctor and it is important to know whether or not that person is a good doctor.”
Dr Smith said there was no way to tell whether a person with a mental health disorder was at fault for a death, because of “differences in their brain”.
The difference between the person who dies from a car crash and a suicide is not just in the amount of force or the number of injuries. “
The difference between a suicide and a homicide is not the same.
‘Extremely depressed’ When he died, the father told the ABC he had been taking anti-depressants, but after his son died he was “very depressed and very, very distressed”. “
It is also in the way they have behaved in the past, whether that is a criminal act or whether that person has been acting in a way that would be described as dangerous.”
‘Extremely depressed’ When he died, the father told the ABC he had been taking anti-depressants, but after his son died he was “very depressed and very, very distressed”.
“I would tell my wife that we’re going to get our lives back together,” he added.
“This is not about me, it is not me trying to get back my life, it’s about my son.”
In the family home, the mother said she believed she was being treated for “unnecessary stress”.
I’m still a very depressed woman. “
They tell me they want to make me take my medication, but I’m not taking it.
The family’s legal team has taken legal action to get the doctor’s actions declared unlawful and they are now seeking to be compensated for the grief and suffering he caused. “
Sometimes I just get very sad, I think about my children and they’re not there, and that just drives me crazy.”
The family’s legal team has taken legal action to get the doctor’s actions declared unlawful and they are now seeking to be compensated for the grief and suffering he caused.
The doctor told the court he believed he was treating the father’s mental health issues and was acting on a “clinical judgement” and that he was acting in accordance with Australian law.
“As I have said, I am not a psychologist,” he was quoted as saying.
“My duty as a medical practitioner is to act within the law.”
The BBC’s Sarah Ferguson reports.