Washington State counselor Alexander Chun “conducted checks” on already-dead suicidal patient

October 6, 2008

On October 6, 2008, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) issued a Statement of Charges against registered counselor Alexander Chun for unprofessional conduct: Commission of an act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption relating to the practice of counseling; Incompetence, negligence, or malpractice which results in injury to a patient or creates an unreasonable risk of harm and misrepresentation or fraud. According to the DOH’s information, in January 2008, while employed at a long-term adolescent residential mental health treatment facility, Mr. Chun failed to actually conduct safety checks every five minutes on a 15-year-old suicidal patient. It is noted that Mr. Chun came on duty at 7 am on January 29, 2008 and noted in the “5 Minute Checks” log that he observed the patient at regular intervals and that she was safe. However, the patient was found dead inside her room at the facility on that day. The county coroner ruled it a suicide with an estimated time of death of 4:30 am on January 29—two and a half hours before Mr. Chun’s shift started.1

1 Statement of Charges, In the Matter of Alexander J. Chun, Credential No. RC00058835, State of Washington Department of Health, 6 Oct. 2008.


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