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Unread July 18th, 2004, 12:50 PM
Skip Simpson Skip Simpson is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Dallas
Posts: 3
Default Re: Suicide

Da Friendly Puter Tech,
Great questions. I am somewhat familiar with the Yeates case. Having reviewed some of the charts it is clear that Mrs Yeates was likely headed to some disaster. One of the major failings of the healthcare providers was the failure to address the issue of filicide. When a mother with young children is thinking of suicide it is the standard of care to ask specific questions about her thinking regarding the children. For example a question with follow-ups might be "I have often had moms who were thinking of suicide who were also thinking of harming their children so they could be in a better place, have you had such thoughts?" This question allows the mom to now address this issue knowing other moms have had similar thoughts. The process is know as "normalization," and is often used in substance abuse cases to get the patient to talk about amounts of drugs used, etc.
Had the clinicians ask the questions they should have asked it is likely Ms Yeates would have provided clues to her homicidal thinking which could have been passed on to the husband. Preventive step would have been executed instead of children being executed. Most likely. When people are thinking of suicide they often enter into an internal dialogue on the pros and cons of suicide. They think of how they will do it, when, where, who will find them, etc. This planning stage is important for the clinician to eavesdrop on by good suicide assessment. Same for filicide.
Skip Simpson
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