Iowa criticized for not disclosing death details

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Family members of an Iowa man who died in a state mental institution last fall are upset officials failed to disclose that a mistake by staff may have caused his death.

Dana Vasey told the Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/KrOlGo ) her family may not have known the circumstances of Dick Meredith’s death if the newspaper hadn’t reported on a $8,250 fine the Clarinda Mental Health Institute received.

Staff at the institute were criticized for giving a resident who had trouble swallowing a peanut butter sandwich. That led to a severe choking incident and the resident’s death.

Vasey says she had to make numerous calls before officials acknowledged that her uncle choked after receiving the wrong food.

A spokeswoman declined to discuss the incident because officials won’t discuss individual cases publicly.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

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