(THUNDER BAY, ON) – On September 27, 2019, we reported on a dead body that was located near Oliver Road, just near the entrance to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. We had heard some unconfirmed details about what had happened at the time, but were not certain enough to report then.
Now we are.
Allegations are that a 19-year-old Indigenous man was in the hospital, seeking medical attention. He smelt of alcohol and was acting inappropriately at the time, likely due to his intoxication.
Hospital security staff escorted the male off the premises. The lone indigenous male headed east on Oliver Road and was later found dead on Lakehead University property. We heard that the male found something he was able to hang himself with.
The hospital, as always, claims no wrong-doing on their part. Yet it is likely that the Shelter Houses S.O.S. program was not called and the male was left alone and in distress.
This incident begs the question that if people with substance abuse issues combined with mental health issues goto the hospital, should they be ejected for not behaving in an ideal manner? Even if they become abusive, there are measures and methods to ensure the safety of staff and the patient. If anything, this case proves that simply ejecting unstable people from the hospital puts their lives in danger. If you can’t get help for substance abuse and mental health issues at the hospital without being ejected, well, that just doesn’t add up.
Security guards at Lakehead University often have taxi vouchers that they help people out with that are often located after being ejected out of the hospital.
Thunder Bay Police Service along with the coroner’s office are investigating the circumstances of this incident further. The community is watching and waiting to hear what comes of this.