Hospital waiting room

Restraining a patient is supposed to be a ‘last resort.’ Why is Massachusetts doing it so often? (GBH)

Below is an excerpt from an article published on October 2 by GBH discussing the implications of the use of restraint at inpatient facilities. Disability Law Center’s Staff Attorney Walter Noons is quoted.


Jess Thompson, 27, of Abington views her life in two parts; before she was restrained, and after.

Thompson had been sent to South Shore Hospital by ambulance in September 2020 after staff at an outpatient clinic feared she might be suicidal. Thompson says she was seeking treatment for PTSD, but was not considering suicide in any way.

Moments before the restraint, she’d been told she was on a 72-hour hold. Thompson told the staff she would like to leave.

“I started to walk up to the door and I am bear-hugged by this security guard. I had my arms crossed sort of in front of my chest and I’m trying to free my arms and they had thrown me to the ground. My lip hit the dirty hospital floor and instantly busts,” Thompson told GBH News.

Thompson said more than half a dozen staffers, most of them male, put her on a stretcher in the middle of the hallway where she screamed, begging them to let her go.

Read more at GBH.