Initiate an inquest into the death of David Harris

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On the 15th July 2019 David Harris was found dead in his home in western Sydney. He had been deceased for at least two months. David had chronic and lifelong schizophrenia and other disabilities and relied on support services, including mental health services and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), for his survival. However, by the time he died, David had lost access to all but one of the services which had kept him in this world. Bounced from service to service as programs were defunded — sometimes referred to some that didn’t even exist — the amount of care and contact David had with the community was cut back at every step. By early last year the only service provider he had left was the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Within days or perhaps weeks of that being cancelled — because he failed to attend a funding review meeting and, it appears, his provider had not bothered to find out why — he was dead.

You can read more in this article by Amber Schultz from Crikey.

An autopsy stated that the cause of David's death was not established, but one fact remains clear, David died from neglect.  In those circumstances, an inquest is required to be held under s.27 Coroners Act 2009. Unlike other courts, the coroner's role is also to consider recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the broader community. David's death raises numerous systemic issues of significant public interest that should properly be the subject of a coronial inquest, and potentially result in a variety of recommendations under s.82 Coroners Act 2009. Despite this, nearly one year later the NSW Coroner has not made a decision regarding an inquest. This is a deviation from the usual process and reveals the degree of stigma and discrimination that people with disability face in our society. 

Please sign and share this petition for an inquest. Recommendations from the inquest will prevent the needless deaths of people with disability.

Thank you!

If this story brings up feelings of distress for you, please contact:
Lifeline 13 11 14
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
Mental Health Emergency 13 14 65
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
MensLine 1300 78 99 78
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
Relationship Australia 1300 364 277
Emergency 000