Control Yuan censures ministry and local government for death in care facility

  • By Wu Su-wei and Jonathan Chin/staff reporter, with a staff writer

The Control Yuan censured the Miaoli County government and the Ministry of Health and Welfare for regulatory failures, following the death last year of an autistic man who was allegedly beaten while he resided in a disability care facility, he said Thursday. .

The agency on Wednesday issued remedial action against the county government and the ministry, which it said were responsible for the death of a 28-year-old man surnamed Lee (李), who died in July last year while that he was staying at the De Fang house. correctional center in Zaociao Township of Miaoli (造橋) after he was allegedly beaten by a staff member.

An inquest revealed that Lee died of intracranial hemorrhage and rhabdomyolysis – the breakdown of muscle tissue causing muscle fibers to enter the bloodstream.

Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times

The nursing facility has been suspended indefinitely and three of its employees are facing criminal charges on charges including false imprisonment resulting in death, said Control Yuan member Wang Yu-ling (王幼玲).

They could face seven years to life in prison if convicted, she said, adding that as the mother of an autistic son, she felt “deep and personal sympathy” for the victim.

Control Yuan’s investigation revealed that the facility was plagued with numerous problems, including insufficient staff, substandard training, overuse of restraints, and allegations that patients were beaten and detained. in solitary confinement, she said.

The Miaoli County government was aware of the conditions at the nursing home but took no action beyond formal gestures, while the ministry – which gave the home low marks in assessments in 2014 and 2015 – also did nothing, she said.

The fact that De Fang has received chronically poor grades and operated without consequence suggests “a serious dysfunction in the country’s regulatory mechanisms for institutions serving people with disabilities,” she said.

The country failed to provide long-term care solutions for adults with severe autism after the government ended the institutionalization of people with mental illnesses to comply with the UN Convention on Human Rights of the disabled, Control Yuan member Wang Mei-yu (王美玉) mentioned.

Although the government intends to provide community-based care for people with low-functioning autism, the measures have not met their needs, she said.

The government must step up its efforts because [these patients’] the parents are getting old and something has to be done soon so that they have a life and a place to live,” she said.

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