Name: Matthew Goodman
Died: February 6, 2002
Age at death: 14
Cause of death: Pneumonia, respiratory distress due to long-term restraints
Location: Trenton, New Jersey, USA
Matthew was heavily sedated and kept in restraints at the institution where he stayed. The restraints kept his arms straight to prevent self injury, so that he could not hug people–something he loved to do. He was kept in restraints all day and most of the night. Being heavily medicated and restrained resulted in aspiration pneumonia. His mother complained to the state multiple times, but nothing was ever done. Matthew died of pneumonia and blood poisoning.
Matthew’s mother lobbied for “Matthew’s Law”, which would have limited the use of restraints. It is still in committee.
New Jersey Reviews and Fines Long-Term Care Center After an Autistic Boy, 14, Dies
Mother pleads for change in N.J. restraint laws Committees approved a bill that would limit their use.
Matthew’s Law & Bancroft School
INCIDENTS OF RESTRAINT AND ALLEGED ABUSE AT BANCROFT AND SIMILAR NJ PROGRAMS ARE BEGINNING TO MAKE THE NEWS.
A2117. Establishes “Matthew’s Law Limiting the Use of Restraints.”