Mother suing HSE following sons death

The mother of a man who killed himself after being discharged from a hospital psychiatric unit where he went following a deliberate overdose has sued the HSE, alleging it failed to provide adequate care to her son.

Reported in the Irish TImes it is claimed that Michael Orpen had attended the Emergency Department of Letterkenny General Hospital and the Department of Psychiatry there on the night of November 14th 2006 after taking a deliberate overdose of 50 tablets.

He received some treatment and was discharged early on November 15th, it is claimed.

It is claimed that Mr Orpan was later assessed at the Parview day hospital at Letterkenny General Hospital and again discharged.

That evening, November 15th, he left his home and was reported missing on November 16th, the following day,on November 17th, he was found dead in his car off Bruckless Pier in south Donegal.

It is alleged there was a failure to properly treat Mr Orpen, failure to recognise he was clinically depressed and required hospitalisation, and failure to alert his family. The HSE has denied negligence, breach of duty or contract.

His mother Ellen Ann Orpen from Dunkineely says she should have been told by the hospital her son had attempted self harm as there was a history of suicide in the family.

Cross examined by Hugh Mohan, for the HSE, Ms Orpen said she was not aware of any low moods by her son or if he required treatment for depression before attending the hospital.

The hearing continues.