N.S. woman with intellectual disability recounts quest for release from hospital

A woman with intellectual disabilities who languished for over 15 years in a Nova Scotia psychiatric facility told a human rights inquiry Tuesday that her pleas that hospital staff honour a plan to release her were repeatedly ignored.

Beth MacLean testified that she told her caregivers at the Nova Scotia Hospital that she'd been told she could shift into a community setting one year after her admission in the fall of 2000.

She told the inquiry that instead she found herself being transferred into an acute care unit in the same hospital seven years later.

The 46-year-old said she remained in a locked-door ward where she seldom left her room other than for meals and occasional outings until 2016.

MacLean, who has a speech impediment, spoke through her advocate Jo-Anne Pushie at the human rights inquiry in Halifax.

She told the inquiry that throughout the 31 years she'd asked to live in a small options home with a bathroom on the ground floor, rather than in an institution.