Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 18(2) July 2015 : 25-30.doi:10.12927/hcq.2015.24303
Special Focus On Preventing Violence In The Workplace

Pursuing Criminal Charges Against Patients who are Reported as Having Assaulted Healthcare Professionals: Considerations

Sarah Flogen, Andrea Waddell, Barbara Russell, Sue Luczak, Carole Garmaise and Khaula Mangla


In two separate events in early 2014, a nurse was threatened with bodily harm by a patient in an inpatient psychiatry unit in Toronto. The nurses involved pursued criminal charges against the patients who made these threats. In response to questions regarding the procedure of criminally charging patients, and the supports available, a panel presentation was organized and presented for the inter-professional team. The key points from the panel are provided here as a resource for other organizations. This paper provides considerations learned from the Toronto Police Services, a Registered Nurse, a Nurse Manager, a Psychiatrist, a Bioethicist, a Legal representative and from Employee Relations.



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