- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 14, 2015

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Five years after a patient committed suicide while given a pass to temporarily leave, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has agreed to pay $250,000 and apologize to his relatives.

Kenneth “Dean” Cabbage of North Liberty jumped from a hospital parking ramp in 2009 after being allowed to leave for an outing with his wife.

The payment and apology letter settle a lawsuit brought by the 67-year-old’s family that challenged the hospital’s practice of granting unsupervised leaves allowing some psychiatric patients to go out for a few hours at a time.

Hospital officials contend the leaves are therapeutic, helping patients get better by enjoying life.

But an attorney for Cabbage’s family argued the leaves have not been shown to help patients and are risky for those who could be suicidal.

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