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'Knowing what I know now, he should not have left the hospital'

Dr. Stephen Curry told the inquiry into the death of Howard Hyde yesterday he believed the system failed the 45-year-old.

Dr. Stephen Curry told the inquiry into the death of Howard Hyde yesterday he believed the system failed the 45-year-old.

The doctor testified he chose not to involuntarily commit Hyde to the QEII Health Sciences Centre after he was Tasered by police because he thought he would see a forensic psychiatrist before an arraignment the next morning. That did not happen.

“Knowing what I know now, he should not have left the hospital,” Curry told the inquiry.

Curry treated the schizophrenic man -- who had been off his medication -- just hours after his confrontation in a police booking office in November 2007. Hyde died in jail 30 hours later.

When Hyde arrived at the hospital at 3 a.m., the doctor said the emergency room was busier than usual. He also said the nurses he relied on to monitor his patients were understaffed.

At the time, the doctor said he felt Hyde had experienced a “metabolic event” rather than a “cardiac event,” which would have indicated a problem with his heart.

With his hands cuffed, Hyde sat comfortably on a bed in the emergency room while the doctor examined him for five to 10 minutes, looking for head injuries and other serious problems.

During the examination, Hyde tried to kick Curry, the court heard. The doctor then treated Hyde with medication to calm him down.

When Curry “peeked in” twice more, he said Hyde “appeared to be improving,” so he allowed the man to leave hospital in handcuffs.

 
 
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