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.
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.