Mentally Retarded Patient Dies After Swallowing A Pen - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Mentally Retarded Patient Dies After Swallowing A Pen

April 1, 2006 - Posted at 12:28 p.m. CST

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ State officials have confirmed that a

24-year-old patient of a state-run center for the mentally retarded

died in November after swallowing a pen.

The man wasn't identified. He was supposed to be under constant

supervision at the Northwest Habilitation Center in St. Louis

County.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Missouri Department

of Mental Health waited until this week to release details of the

man's death, and didn't notify a group that's supposed to be told

of any deaths.

Agency spokesman Bob Bax says the department's own investigation

could not substantiate abuse or neglect because it could not

determine when the patient swallowed the pen and ``other nonfood

items'' found in his body.

Bax says the patient's family had not given him permission to

release his name.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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