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The Taunton hospital that his family members blamed for releasing the man who went on a stabbing rampage Tuesday is calling the state's policy on the way it handles mentally ill patients "misguided."
The family of Arthur DaRosa says he had mental health issues, including depression, and went to Morton Hospital for care on Monday. The hospital discharged him early Tuesday morning, just hours before authorities say he killed two and injured five others.
Liz DaRosa, Arthur's aunt, says the violence could have been avoided had her nephew received proper care at Morton Hospital.
"It could have been prevented. The ambulance picked him up at 5 p.m. on Monday, they discharged him at 4 a.m. on Tuesday," she told reporters Wednesday. "They didn't treat him for what his sickness was or his mental illness. They treated him for something else."
A third party contractor is responsible for evaluating patients in the Emergency Department and requesting admission for psychiatric beds, according to a Wednesday night statement from Morton Hospital.
In the statement, hospital spokesperson Julie Masci said if a bed was requested, "there were beds available within the hospital's network."
The statement continued, criticizing the state's process: "As we have said in the past, the current policy mandating that the evaluation process must be carried out by a third party state contractor is misguided."
Morton Hospital says it is barred by federal law from disclosing patients' confidential information, including those who are assessed by third party contractors through the state Medicaid program, MassHealth.
DaRosa's alleged rampage ended when he was shot and killed by an off-duty sheriff.
With reporting by WBUR's Newscast Unit and Amy Gorel
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported Liz DeRosa's name as Lisa.