Chicago Lakeshore Hospital, an uptown psychiatric facility, is facing federal charges for alleged abuse and neglect of children in their care.
The Hospital of Horrors
The Chicago Lakeshore Children’s’ Hospital has been dubbed the “Hospital of Horrors” for terrible mistreatment of children in their care. Alleged acts of neglect and sexual abuse on young foster children in the state hospital have led to federal charges and a federal lawsuit against hospital staff members, as well as several current and former employees of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
Lakeshore Hospital, a psychiatric facility, provides mental health services to foster children under the care of the state. The federal lawsuit alleges that children as young as seven and eight years of age, as well as some teens, were beaten and sexually molested by hospital staff members and peers while in state protective custody between 2017 and 2018. It also alleges that 7-year-old children were forced to view pornographic materials and watch sexually abusive acts perpetrated by staff members. When children reported the abuse to hospital employees, they were victimized even further and given powerful sedatives that were not prescribed for their conditions.
According to allegations, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) knew about the hospital’s problems but did nothing since there was a shortage of other facilities that were willing to accept DCFS children and teens. The lawsuit points out that acts of abuse and neglect were covered up hospital staff members and children were not given proper protection.
Lakeshore has a long history of documented safety violations issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) that oversees state facilities funded by Medicare and Medicaid. Violations have been issued for:
- Unsanitary conditions
- Patient abuse and neglect
- Failure to monitor suicidal patients
- Failure to monitor dangerous patients
- Failure to investigate sexual misconduct
- Failure to notify IDPH about patient complaints
Most Lakeshore funding and payments for patient care are provided by state Medicare and Medicaid services. Injuries caused by abuse and neglect are commonly seen by Chicago personal injury lawyers. Due to the current lawsuit, Lakeshore Hospital is facing termination of federal funding, revocation of its state license, and possible closure. DCFS stopped admitting children under state care to the hospital in November 2018. Lakeshore Hospital officials are arranging to move their Medicare and Medicaid patients to other hospitals as soon as possible.