Over the years, mentally ill persons, especially the youths, have been the subject of harsh treatment by the society. Such is the case given they portrayal as criminals that need incarceration to rectify their behavior. A depiction of this kind does not reflect the sympathetic character that human beings must exhibit when dealing with the mentally ill. Mental illness is like any other type of medical conditions that requires equal and nonjudgmental treatment and care of sufferers of this fate. In illustration of how the society has failed on this account is a case study of Ashley Smith who undergoes painful experiences until her dying day.
She is a young mentally ill Canadian woman whose experiences are unthinkable and inhumane given the obligation of ideal care for a sick person. The jury, after the end of Ashley’s living days, ruled that her death was a case of homicide that should never happen again in the future (The Canadian Press, National Post Staff, & Postmedia News, 2013). In essence, an analysis of the reasons as to why this was a case of a failed social system and the justified nature of the jury’s verdict is the central idea of this discussion.
Firstly, the prison warden and deputy prison warden are part of a failed social system that contributed to the death of Ashley Smith. A case in point of their fair share to this fate is on exhibition through their action of ordering their correctional officers not to intervene unless Ashley reaches the point that she demonstrates breathing difficulty. An order of this kind was inhumane as argued by the member of Ashley’s family through their advocate. Such is the case since they believe that the absence of this command to the correctional officers would have ensured that Ashley Smith would still be alive.
In logical terms, this is accurate since her death was evitable at all cost (CBC News, 2013). Evidently, this depicts the significant role played by both the prison warden and the deputy prison warden in the death of this youth that deserved more years. Besides, it is beyond doubt that this verdict is the right one given the contribution of the correctional officers in this tragedy. The correctional officers ought to have known better that the consequences of neglecting their role would have had severe consequences like loss of life than defying the standing orders of not intervening to the plight of the deceased.
The duty of life preservation is everyone’s responsibility and not an exception for the guards. Such is the case given the human rights charter’s prescription that every person is entitled to the right of life. As such, it is inexcusable for the security guards to refrain from this obligation knowing very well that the role of the institution is for correction of an individual’s behavior rather than lead to his/her demise (The Canadian Press, National Post Staff, & Postmedia News, 2013). With that said, this was a case of homicide due to the negligence of the security detail for this penitentiary.
Furthermore, the psychiatrists’ way of doing things in this instance does little to convince one that the jury made an incorrect ruling. The psychiatrists, though not in the spotlight, they are the architect of the injustice towards Ashley. They failed to conduct a psychological assessment of Ashley in a timely and a comprehensive manner that would have averted the demise of this youth. It is evident that the psychotherapists reverted to inhumane ways of doing things as they distance themselves from their moral obligation of providing psychological care.
Moreover, they advocated for an impersonal interaction that further heightened the challenge of segregation for the tender aged girl. Consequently, the ramifications of their impersonal approach of doing things resulted in the tragic event of Ashley choking herself to death since she could not take it any longer (The Canadian Press, National Post Staff, & Postmedia News, 2013). Clearly, this is reason enough to justify this verdict. Last but not the least, the penitentiary’s ways of correcting the inmates are orthodox and only deserve a judgment of this kind.
A case in point is the evidence that Ashley was subject of physical restraining, which in the contemporary world is not the way to handle the mentally ill. Such a treatment is not one that human beings must receive since it is barbaric and exerts a feeling of slavery. Ashley Smith was the subject of restraining whenever she was in transit, and this was contributory to her demise. Additionally, she was on the receiving end of forced medications. An action of this kind denied her the inherent patient right of refusing medication at will (CBC News, 2013).
In light of such treatment, it is precise to say that the homicide ruling was befitting to this scenario. In closure, indeed Ashley’s society contributed largely to her harsh treatment and demise. Such is the case given the prominent roles played by the various stakeholders in this instance. The propagators include but not limited to the frontline managers of the prison (prison warden and the deputy), correctional officers and the psychotherapists. The important lessons drawn from this case are the recommendations that have been put forward since the incidence.
An example befitting of these recommendations is the availing psychotherapy services for the mentally ill persons within the initial 72 hours of admission. Also, the jury came up with a proposition of treating mentally ill individuals in a treatment facility as opposed to a prison as a criminal. With such measures in place, an instance like Ashley’s case will not be observed anytime soon. Thus, using this scenario as a reference point, the society should change its perspective about mental illness, if such instances are to become avoidable in the future.