Grieving Mom Held Hostage in Psych Ward After Son's Murder Is Not Sick

lockA grieving Vermont mom who has spent the past month locked in a psychiatric ward against her will is finally free. Christina Schumacher was hospitalized involuntarily on December 19, the day after her estranged husband, Ludwig Schumacher, strangled the couple's 14-year-old son, Gunnar Schumacher, and then hanged himself. But throughout the ordeal, she's maintained she was no more ill than any mom would be in her situation, and she just wanted to go home! 

Whatever happened to first do no harm? To having a little compassion for people? This poor woman was essentially held hostage!


Of course a mom whose child was murdered would be upset, but that doesn't necessarily make one insane or in danger of harming people (herself included)! It shouldn't have taken a mom reaching out to a local newspaper and begging them to investigate her case to get some relief, but that's what happened here.

Scary, isn't it? That you could be held against your will? That your reaction to pure tragedy could be so grievously misjudged?

Schumacher's release was ordered Friday by a judge who ruled that there was no reason for a doctor to order Schumacher be admitted and held for five and half weeks. As Schumacher herself said,

I am not ill; I am simply a mother who is grieving the tragic loss of her young son.

She can now go home to grieve with her 17-year-old daughter, but it's not exactly in peace. Schumacher is now dealing not only with recovering from the death of her child but with the loss of that time ... plus medical bills that the hospital has sent to her and to her insurance company for her stay.

What do you think of the rules for holding someone in a psychiatric facility against their will? Do you support them or do you see a need for a change?


Image via kev-shine/Flickr

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