Michael O’Sullivan: DWP twice pushed father-of-two to suicide bids

A disabled man whose suicide led a coroner to deliver a ground-breaking verdict that his death was triggered by being found “fit for work” had already tried to take his own life because of government attempts to force him back to work.

The case of Michael O’Sullivan caused a national outcry when it was revealed that coroner Mary Hassell had written to the government about the case, demanding action from the Department for Work and Pensions to prevent the deaths of other disabled people.

The circumstances surrounding Mr O’Sullivan’s death on 23 September 2013 raise even graver concerns about the government’s back-to-work policies than previously thought:

  • Michael O’Sullivan had tried to take his own life the previous year after being forced by DWP to attend a training course, where he was tormented and harassed by other much younger jobseekers
  • His first assessment by an Atos “healthcare professional”, in August 2012, lasted just 12 minutes
  • The former surgeon who carried out his second assessment, in March 2013, took 31 minutes to assess him, and just another 11 minutes to fill in the necessary paperwork
  • The 60-year-old – terrified that he would lose his benefits if he failed to attend but unable to cope with the idea of being surrounded by other workers – took his own life hours before he was due to start a four-week work placement on a building-site

Source: Michael O’Sullivan scandal: DWP twice pushed dad-of-two to suicide bids

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5 Thoughts to “Michael O’Sullivan: DWP twice pushed father-of-two to suicide bids”

  1. A “national outcry”? Where? What became of this? Has anything changed because of this “national outcry”?

    All I seem to read about these days is how bad people are treated by this current government, nothing changes, we wake up every day and this stuff still happens, why?

    We have no control, if we did then this would have been stopped the first time it happened. I’m getting to the point of asking “what’s the point?”

    1. Mike Sivier

      That’s exactly what the current government wants you to think, of course. Perhaps THAT’s the point?

      1. Helen

        Yes, they are playing a game of ‘who can keep this up longest!’

  2. NMac

    Sadly Helen, I fear this bunch of heartless, self-serving criminals will keep it up until they are driven from office.

  3. There has been no national outcry about this, even though there should’ve been, was supressed by tory lackey rags and networks on the telly, they are happy he’s dead and the same for many others around the country, no one cares in this dump, the mindset of it has changed, thanks to Thatcher, we’re all doomed!

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