This column discusses the suicide of Matthew M., a 13-year-old boy admitted to the High Plains Youth Center in Colorado. Matthew was born with fetal alcohol syndrome. Eventually he was removed from his home & began a series of foster-care placements. During intake at the youth centre Matthew was deemed not to be suicidal even though responses to screening questions seemed to indicate strong suicidal ideation. After Matthew’s death & allegations of other problems, the youth centre was closed.