SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A coroner has revised the cause of death of a mentally ill California inmate, saying the man died of natural causes instead of a condition that resulted from a lack of nourishment.
Two pathologists initially found that 49-year-old Michael Stanley Galliher died in August from complications of inanition, defined as an exhausted condition resulting from lack of nourishment.
Records obtained by The Associated Press under a public records act request show Galliher was afraid to eat solid food at California Medical Facility in Vacaville because “he had delusions that his food was being poisoned.”
He had no food in his stomach, severely low blood sugar and other effects of fasting when he died.
Dr. Venus Azar, a pathologist, found earlier this month that his low blood sugar could have been caused by one of the drugs he was taking. The Solano County coroner’s office changed the manner of death to natural causes as a result.
Galliher’s mother Ann Marie Patrick of Alhambra said Friday that she believes her son died of neglect because prison officials should have discovered the problem before it killed him.
Attorneys representing sick and mentally ill inmates also said prison officials should have done more to prevent the death.
“We’re glad that the coroner agreed to review the findings of the original autopsy,” said Joyce Hayhoe, spokeswoman for the federal court-appointed official who controls medical care in California state prisons. “As we’ve stated previously, we did not agree with the conclusions from the original autopsy report.”
The records reflect a continuing dispute between prison guards and prison medical officials over whether Galliher was eating in the six days after he was transferred back to the prison from the state mental hospital in Atascadero.
Galliher, a schizophrenic, had been in state custody for 25 years after being sentenced to life with the possibility of parole for second-degree murder in the 1989 shooting of his cousin.
Dr. Joseph Bick, the prison’s chief medical executive, told investigators that Galliher was being given a liquid nutritional supplement because he was afraid to eat solid food. It was not documented whether he drank the supplement, and guards said he missed some of his meals.
“If he has an eating disorder he should be monitored for his eating,” said Michael Bien, an attorney who represents mentally ill California inmates. “If they weren’t monitoring for his eating then they weren’t doing their job.”
While a drug interaction could have caused Galliher’s low blood sugar, Bien said there is no evidence it actually did.
Steven Fama, who represents sick inmates, said the documents reinforce the serious concerns he has about whether Galliher received adequate care.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- 12 things to watch before the Oscars
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes