30% of Killings by Schizophrenics `Are Preventable'

By Judd, Terri | The Independent (London, England), December 18, 2000 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

30% of Killings by Schizophrenics `Are Preventable'


Judd, Terri, The Independent (London, England)


EIGHT YEARS after Jonathan Zito was stabbed to death by a paranoid schizophrenic on a London Underground platform, a mental health charity says the same fatal errors that led to his killing continue to be made.

Yesterday, on the anniversary of the 27-year-old musician's death, and the eve of a White Paper on the Mental Health Act, an investigation into killings by psychiatric patients has shown a startling number of common threads.

An examination of independent inquiries into the deaths of 35 people, by the mental health charity, Sane, has identified a string of common flaws in the treatment of the killers and the same recommendations being made time and time again, leading to the conclusion that little is being learnt from successive tragedies.

A simple lack of communication rather than misdiagnosis was proved to be the primary catalyst in most deaths, blamed in 96 per cent of cases. It was one of the errors highlighted by an inquiry into the care of Jonathan Zito's killer, Christopher Clunis.

"The inquiries are conducted at a local level when they have recommendations which have national implications and should be implemented nationally," said Michael Howlett, director of the Zito Trust.

The Sane study found one- third of the killings were deemed predictable or preventable. "I have been to about 30 of these inquiries, and each one echoes the other," said Marjorie Wallace of Sane yesterday.

In 91 per cent of cases researched by Sane, inadequate care plans upon discharge from hospital were blamed. A lack of risk assessment was seen as a fatal flaw highlighted by 78 per cent of inquiries - also a problem in the Zito case.

"Not all of these homicides might have occurred if steps to improve these two factors had been taken," Ms Wallace said.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

30% of Killings by Schizophrenics `Are Preventable'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?