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L.A. Hospital Drops Paraplegic Patient on Skid Row

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posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 05:08 AM
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This is outrageous. It is seldom reported, but has happened before and will happen again. This time it made it to the press. On Thursday a van from Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center dropped a paraplegic man wearing a soiled hospital gown and a broken colostomy bag in the gutter of skid row in Los Angeles. "I can't think of anything colder than that," said LAPD Detective Russ Long, who called the case the most egregious of its kind that he has seen in his career. Witnesses to the scene, other homeless people, were quick enough to take note of the car's license-plate number. To add to the inhumane in the act, the man, unable to walk, was left without any walking aids. Witnesses tell that the man propped himself up in the door of the van. He then hurled himself from the vehicle, tumbling to the street. He pulled himself along, dragging a bag of his belongings in his clenched teeth. The witnesses alerted the LAPD.
 



www.latimes.com
Police describe the homeless people who congregate around Gladys Park, in the heart of skid row, as a tough crowd who have seen much and say little. But there was no shortage of people willing to describe what they saw about 10:45 a.m. Thursday morning, when the white hospital van pulled up several feet from the curb.
[....]

LAPD Officers Eric de la Cruz and Pernell Taylor said they arrived to find the man being carried out of the street on a chair that had been retrieved from the nearby park offices. De la Cruz later asked the victim if he had wanted to be dropped off at the location.

"He said he had nowhere else to go, and the hospital staff told him he could no longer stay there," De la Cruz said of the man, who is being treated at County-USC Medical Center.

The LAPD has accused several hospitals of dumping patients on skid row over the last two years, including Kaiser's West Los Angeles hospital, Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center and Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I'm speechless. Much have I heard, and some I know, about healthcare in America. Being aware how little social security in general there is, I have however never, never ever imagined it could be cruel like this. This being a medical institution doing it, I just can't find words to express my rage and feelings.

Is it really so, without health insurance you are literally left to die? With no mercy, no care, without charity. In the richest nation on the planet?

A nation that can afford to spend about 300 million dollars a day on a war running, if not endlessly then for decades to come, cannot take care of its weakest and disabled members. Who was it that said, "a society is judged by the way it takes care of its weakest members"?

I'm not gonna praise my Scandinavian background here, but this reality snippet can't help but make me feel that more gratefull for it.

What angers me is the soon 10 billion dollars waisted on killing a people, destroying a country, destabilizing a region, polarizing religious and ethnic groups beyond any conciliation for decades, possibly centuries to come -- money used to create so much pain and suffering could have given free healthcare to Americans for centuries. I can only find one word for it: EVIL.

But I got to ask myself is this what the American dream has ended up as? Heartless, ego-centered and with absolute no campassion.

The last thing I want to do is insult ordinary American people, because I know far most of them is as outrage as I am over this. But I gotta say, shame on any society who can let it pass. What will the next thing be? Euthanasia for those who can't pay?

(note: LA Times requires registration for access, it is free and takes 5 secs.)

(edit to add msnbc link)

Related News Link:
www.msnbc.msn.com


[edit on 11-2-2007 by khunmoon]

[edit on 11-2-2007 by UM_Gazz]

[edit on 11-2-2007 by khunmoon]




posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 09:45 AM
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This is shamefull, outragious, cruel and disheartining. Things like this that go on in my country make me so angry. Every day I see people that have been abandoned by the system walking around forced to begg for enough money to at least feed themselves if not self medicate themselves because of the horrific lives that they have been forced to face.

I know that many people are wary of homeless people because they feel that they should "get a job" but in many cases I have seen these people couldent possibly get any kind of work because of a mental disorder that frankly wouldent allow them to be able to hold any kind of work whatsoever. And yes I have also seen those that are quite capable of getting a job and being capable of working just give up because of laziness.

But throwing a man into the gutter that cannot walk just because he has no where else to go is not only wrong its discusting to say the least.


apc

posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 10:07 AM
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Police said several people began shouting at the driver, who in addition to applying makeup was more concerned that the seats of the van had been soiled, investigators said.

Haha! There should be a law against that!


I don't know what this guys specific medical problem was. I'm not defending the hospitals' alleged actions. But homeless people just trying to get a warm place to sleep are a problem for hospitals everywhere. The hospital has to eat the costs. Plus they're using resources that would be better served with actual patients. Again, I don't know what medical problem brought this guy to the hospital. But once treatment is rendered and the patient is stable, what is the hospital supposed to do if the patient won't leave?



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 11:39 AM
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You can always tell the true nature of a person by observing how they treat someone who can do them absolutely no good.



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 12:09 PM
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I have to agree, you need to give people medical care. Even if we dont' have medicare reform, you can't just dump people in dire situations like that onto the street.



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 02:33 PM
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This hospital has been dumping patients off on skid row for years. I saw a documentary about it in my undergraduate class.

Hospitals all over treat patients horrible.


apc

posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 02:35 PM
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I have yet to see any dire situation here. Unless I've completely missed it, we don't know what medical issue, if any, the victim had.

He was crippled. Waah. That in itself is not the hospital's problem.



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 02:54 PM
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Originally posted by Jessicamsa
This hospital has been dumping patients off on skid row for years. I saw a documentary about it in my undergraduate class.

Hospitals all over treat patients horrible.


I have seen both sides of the coin myself. I had insurance and had to go to the hospital. I was treated very well and there wasnt enough the hospital could do for me.

Then I had to go when I didnt have any insurance and it was a horrible experience I was treated like slime and they barely took care of me at all.

I have seen homeless people go without any sort of medical care whatsoever because they are unable to pay and eventualy you don't see them around anymore. It's not hard to imagine what happened.



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by apc
I have yet to see any dire situation here. Unless I've completely missed it, we don't know what medical issue, if any, the victim had.

He was crippled. Waah. That in itself is not the hospital's problem.


I hope you are never down and out APC and run into someone with your attitude.



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 03:58 PM
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Originally posted by apc
He was crippled. Waah.

Do you really think that it represents that much of a burden upon you to have a hospital take care of an immobile parapalegic?
I don't care if he doesn't even have a cough in addition to it.

I mean, free medical care for everyone is one thing, but people that need life saving treatment, or who are parapalegics for christ's sake, who gives a damn about the money? THey're not going to 'break the system'.



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 04:20 PM
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One may not break but the system, but tens of thousands are


That being said the hospital has a fundemental ethical and legal obligation to ensure that thier patinets are safe upon distcharge. As pointed out the patient in question is a para which in and of itself does not warrent the hospital to hang on to them, but the basic condition of the patient as described in the media would not be someone that a hospital would want to go.

We really need more information as there are many breakdowns in the system.

If the patient came into the ED , the hospital is obligated legaly (nevermind the ethics) and cannot simply refuse, or transport them untreated. This is governed by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act also known as EMTALA.
EMTALA laws are specific and have teeth. Our ED once made a minor EMTALA violation. The ED doc transpherd a child in the ED to another childrens hospital when we had beds. The doc had been told none were avalible The hospital was fined $50,000 for this minor violation. If that hospital actually dumped that patient, I can't even imagine what the fine will be.

The crew of the rig that transported the para: Im surprised that they would simply dump that patient out. Unless the ambulance in question was manned and owned by the hospital itself and they had specific orders, an ambulance company and crew would not do this as they would also be potnetialy liable. Edit: reread the story, sounds like it was a maint. van and not an ambulance :shk: )

The patient may have requested this. Its unlikely but possible that the patient went AMA (aginst medical advice) and signed waivers at the refering hosptial.

If they did do this as a delibrate action then they are so stupid it defies explanation. They could have simply transported the patient to another ED after treating his inital problems, Hospital will go to great pains to aviod bad press and this would never been as bad as what they have now.




[edit on 2/11/07 by FredT]


apc

posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 05:10 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Do you really think that it represents that much of a burden upon you to have a hospital take care of an immobile parapalegic?
I don't care if he doesn't even have a cough in addition to it.

I mean, free medical care for everyone is one thing, but people that need life saving treatment, or who are parapalegics for christ's sake, who gives a damn about the money? THey're not going to 'break the system'.

Did you miss my previous post?


me
I don't know what this guys specific medical problem was. I'm not defending the hospitals' alleged actions. But homeless people just trying to get a warm place to sleep are a problem for hospitals everywhere. The hospital has to eat the costs. Plus they're using resources that would be better served with actual patients. Again, I don't know what medical problem brought this guy to the hospital. But once treatment is rendered and the patient is stable, what is the hospital supposed to do if the patient won't leave?


There is not enough info in this article to come to a conclusion about this entire event. Because of that I can't speak to what went on before his discharge, nor what got him in the hospital in the first place. For all we know the hospital tried to get him covered under medicaid, was denied. Then he could have spent a week living off the hospital, refused to transfer to a mission, and finally was given his options, from which he decided skid row.

Crazier things have happened.



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 06:57 PM
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]L.A. Times article

A paraplegic man wearing a soiled hospital gown and a broken colostomy bag was found crawling in a gutter in skid row in Los Angeles on Thursday after allegedly being dumped in the street by a Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center van, police said.


They dropped him off wearing a hospital gown and a colostomy bag.

I think the hospital could have done a little more for this patient. How about helping him put on the clothes he was wearing when he got to the hospital?


Police Probe Alleged L.A. Homeless Dumping - MSNBC

The case comes three months after the L.A. city attorney’s office filed its first indictment for homeless dumping against Kaiser Permanente for an incident earlier last year. In the earlier case, a 63-year-old patient from the hospital’s Bellflower medical center was videotaped wandering the streets of Skid Row in a hospital gown and socks.


I'm pretty sure these people weren't wearing hospital gowns when they went to the hospital. Who would want to be dropped off on the street wearing a hospital gown?

How about dropping these people off at a homeless shelter, a mission, or some other such place that tries to help these people.



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 07:01 PM
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Originally posted by Orwells Ghost
You can always tell the true nature of a person by observing how they treat someone who can do them absolutely no good.

Very true.

This area of LA is not so bad. There's nice comfy sidewalks and they'll even let you set up a tent for a few days before it's torn down with all your stuff and thrown in the trash. It is a bit hard to put up a tent when you're paralyzed however.

Los Angeles is doomed, and this isn't even the tip of the iceberg. They gots no water, and thirty million people. It's a friggin desert ya know? But hey, when the living's good, why ask any questions? LA is the only city where you can actually see a millionaire step out of their jaguar and step OVER a homeless person to get into the shops. Ahhh American Materialism...



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 07:19 PM
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Driver sounds like Cruella DeVille.



Witnesses shouted at the female driver of the van, "Where's his wheelchair, where's his walker?"

Gary Lett, an employee at Gladys Park, near where the incident occurred, said the woman driving the van didn't reply, but proceeded to apply makeup and perfume before driving off.

"She didn't make any attempt to help him," Lett said. "He was in bad shape. He was incoherent."


Good question, 'where's his clothes'? How about a working colostomy bag.

At least puppies would garner sympathy.



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 07:23 PM
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Originally posted by whatukno

Originally posted by Jessicamsa
This hospital has been dumping patients off on skid row for years. I saw a documentary about it in my undergraduate class.

Hospitals all over treat patients horrible.


I have seen both sides of the coin myself. I had insurance and had to go to the hospital. I was treated very well and there wasnt enough the hospital could do for me.

Then I had to go when I didnt have any insurance and it was a horrible experience I was treated like slime and they barely took care of me at all.

I have seen homeless people go without any sort of medical care whatsoever because they are unable to pay and eventualy you don't see them around anymore. It's not hard to imagine what happened.


Sounds like they dumped him there to die.



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 07:36 PM
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Los Angeles is doomed, and this isn't even the tip of the iceberg. They gots no water, and thirty million people. It's a friggin desert ya know? But hey, when the living's good, why ask any questions? LA is the only city where you can actually see a millionaire step out of their jaguar and step OVER a homeless person to get into the shops. Ahhh American Materialism...

Very telling picture you paint there, smallpeeps, almost parabellic.

I just wonder how did it look twenty years ago? fifty years ago? I don't think it was that cruel.

That's what stuns me, the indifference to other human beings this shows.

More informations on the subject, the unfortunate poor man of the story, like name, diagnose would be welcomed, but it's not needed to make a judgement on the cruelty and inhumanity of it.

I've discussed this with my spouse being Thai. She's outraged too, and not even in a third-world, but fairly developed country like Thailand, could this have happened. And they are not much sentimental or care much about eachother.

Comes down to dignity, not of the victim, but of those who let it pass.



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 08:25 PM
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I'm gobsmacked at the inhumanity...not just of this particular story, but at the way the US medical-insurance pay-per-treatment works.

Thank god for the N.H.S.!



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 08:27 PM
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Originally posted by khunmoon
Very telling picture you paint there, smallpeeps, almost parabellic.

I just wonder how did it look twenty years ago? fifty years ago? I don't think it was that cruel.

LA was built by Mulholland who stole water from gorgeous and fertile vallies north of LA. Huge acreage was turned to desert to irrigate the desert basin called LA. It's an experiment of a city, and has always been so since the poor emigrated there in the fifties. One day it wil be totally gone, IMO.



More informations on the subject, the unfortunate poor man of the story, like name, diagnose would be welcomed, but it's not needed to make a judgement on the cruelty and inhumanity of it.

LA has good people in it, but the nbature of the city is to compartmentalize the badness and just say, "Well that's city life" ...To me, it's a comment on what people are willing to tolerate. I drove and walk through the LA fashion district (meaning sweatshops) and skid row hundreds of times and there is never a lack of homeless or people who will be dead by next week. Also is there never a shortage of 200,000 dollar benzes in the same neighborhood.

How much does it cost to care for a person who is parapalegic? Damn if it weren't for all the cool places in LA somebody might have time to think up an answer. But so long as something cool is playing at the Hollywood Bowl, who cares that some dude is dying on a sidewalk just over the hill?



Comes down to dignity, not of the victim, but of those who let it pass.

I could not have said it better. Dignity costs so little, yet it is priceless to each of us.



[edit on 11-2-2007 by smallpeeps]



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 08:30 PM
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And there are people who will say as Ann Coulter did on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher one night that...."Health care in this country is a privilege you pay for, not a right." Technically that may be correct but that does not make it right or decent.



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