Wow. Not words I ever anticipated writing. Or tweeting. With a hint of triumph. There is no triumph. But then there is, kind of. In a pretty crap and thankless way. In the painstakingly laborious, relentless and distressing process of trying to get some sort of accountability for the preventable death of your child in a hospital bath [crumble].
The coroner agreed to a jury at LB’s inquest yesterday. At the second pre inquest review meeting. An article 2 inquest was already agreed. Whether or not there would be a jury was still to be decided. The decision hinged on whether or not LB was detained. Or not free to leave the unit. The unit with the locked door. And a care plan that stated that he was only to leave accompanied on a one to one basis. The dude who had never stepped outside without someone with him.
The discussion/arguments/submissions highlighted how coroners (and others) don’t necessarily understand how life is for some people. Why would they? With apparent good intentions the coroner tried to make sense of the evidence available to interpret LB’s ability/capacity/wherewithal to simply leave the unit as he chose. A locked door can be opened on request. He asked for evidence, for facts and not legal submissions, to underpin his ruling.
LB wouldn’t ask for a locked door to be opened. Particularly after being restrained face down for over 10 minutes in response to trying to come home on his first night in the unit. [Howl]. After such an inhumane and barbaric experience it kind of becomes irrelevant whether or not the unit door is locked. Simple power rules operate. And if staff had opened the door on LB’s request (which they never did), he would have waited for us to come and collect him.
He was detained. As simple as. Whatever way you want to try and interpret it. The coroner recognised this – after lengthy arguments (both legal and factual) from our legal team- and ruled in favour of a jury.
I was left wondering what would have happened if we hadn’t had legal representation.