Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A lost opportunity with tragic consequences

Their offices were just steps apart, yet there is no record of communication between two doctors who treated Huc Minh Chau for paranoid schizophrenia in the years that preceded him slashing his wife and two children to death.

Evidence assembled since the Feb. 9, 2006, tragedy reveals that Mr. Chau's family doctor and psychiatrist – who practise together in a well-appointed medical building in Scarborough, Ont. – did not exchange memos or consultation notes about their troubled patient.

Family doctor Edmond Lo and psychiatrist Hung Tat Lo also failed to probe deeply into Mr. Chau's increasingly frequent reports that he was suffering from profound hallucinations and fears that his family members were possessed by demons.

The killings are among a growing list of recent incidents in which mental patients have exploded into violence, including two high-profile violent attacks on Greyhound buses in recent weeks.

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