Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Who's accountable?

Nearly six years ago, Li stabbed and beheaded Tim McLean on a Greyhound bus.  Many of probably remember this news “story”.  He has been locked away in a psychiatric hospital and today, his psychiatrist’s team asked that he be given 3 new privileges.
  • Unescorted day passes into Selkirk.
  • Relocation from the hospital’s locked ward to an unlocked ward.
  • Relaxed supervision during escorted trips into Winnipeg and Lockport. Instead of having a dedicated escort, Li would be one of three patients supervised by one hospital staff member.
People are concerned.  Before the murder, Li was not considered violent but Li had severe non-diagnosed untreated schizophrenia.  He was 46.  Schizophrenia often begins in late adolescents or the early 20’s so he has likely been ill  for 25 years.   Schizophrenia is an inherited illness.  Not everyone who has schizophrenia hears voices, just like not everyone with a brain tumour has vision loss…however, it is extremely debilitating.  How did this man make it through the last 25 years?  I am not commenting on whether he should be released, although feel free to.  My concern; however, is that schizophrenia is so debilitating …how can you not notice someone who hears voices?  Was he responsible for not being on medication or could we, as a community, perhaps have stepped in earlier?  Did Tim McLean have to die?

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