Seth Grant was a person, not a patient. I’m not sure what allowed your paper to identify him as a “patient” residing in a boarding home. There are privacy laws which prohibit disclosure of a person’s medical history without due process. I believe your labeling of Seth as a patient was in violation of these laws, or do you lose those protections if you’re dead? I guess that’s a question for the lawyer.
I’m not sure what was more offensive, your reporter’s desire to infer through this labeling that Seth was mentally disturbed in order to offer your readership a facile explanation of this tragic occurrence, or the fact that your writer felt it was important to also include that the vehicle sustained minor damage as if that was just as important to know as the fact that a person sustained lethal damage in this accident.
Seth was known and cared about by many in the Las Vegas community and his family has heard from people who learned of his death only by reading about it in this insensitive and dehumanizing manner. Although the police report states that the accident was a probable suicide, only Seth would know for sure what he was thinking or not thinking when it happened. There was nothing preceding this accident that would indicate he was planning to end his life. What we do know is that he was a true and kind spirit with amazing artistic and musical talents and he was just as valuable a human being as you or I, and to have his death announced in this way by your paper only saddens me more. If you are here to serve your community, then remember who your community is and serve them with respect.
You’re a small paper and can afford to do that without being just a cold heartless police blotter. At a minimum stick to reporting the facts you can prove and remember that people who live in boarding homes are called “residents” just like everyone else. And for God’s sake, when someone is killed in an accident, don’t mention that the car sustained minor damage. Maybe when they hit a deer its OK to say that, not when it hits a human being.
May Seth rest in peace and somehow know that he was loved and valued regardless of how his tragic death was reported in the Las Vegas Septic.