Often clear warning signs exist when an individual suffers suicidal tendencies. According to a lawsuit filed by a Connecticut man - Sylvester Traylor - his wife displayed suicidal thoughts after taking anti-depressants prescribed by her physician. He claims that despite nine attempts to contact her physician with his concerns, his calls were ignored. Traylor’s wife subsequently killed herself by backing her car into her garage and letting the engine run. Traylor’s medical malpractice/suicide lawsuit is still pending in a Connecticut Appeals Court, but he has recently gained national attention as an advocate for access to justice for those affected by medical negligence.
When suicidal warning signs exist, a medical provider is responsible to act in any way necessary to prevent a patient from harming him or herself. The failure to prevent suicide may constitute medical malpractice.
Likewise, certain drugs have been linked to suicide in patients. These include such drugs as Paxil and Prozac. When administered or prescribed incorrectly they can lead to suicidal tendencies that may result in a patient taking his or her own life.
Based on the actions involved in Traylor’s case, he filed a medical malpractice case in Connecticut, but has always felt “invisible.” As the result of reforms aimed at reducing so-called “frivolous lawsuits,” Traylor encountered significant difficulties getting his case heard. Now, as that state grapples with changes to their medical malpractice laws, Traylor was asked to speak about the difficulties he has had obtaining justice for his wife’s tragic death. Traylor notes that he is encouraged by legislation making it more difficult for judges to dismiss cases legitimate cases.