Sunday, September 09, 2007

Yes, it can happen. It does happen.

If you've seen stories like Ruben Navarro's, and thought, "thank goodness, that can't happen to me or my loved ones, because we have each other, some of us have medical training, we know our rights, we've made legal provisions..." --whatever you thought protected you and yours from being fatally mistreated in a hospital setting, read today's investigative report in the LA Times about the death of Linda Sue Brown. Lies were told, consent forms were forged, care was withheld, surgery (a hysterectomy) was performed on a disabled woman without appropriate consent and possibly without clear medical necessity. And nobody has been held accountable under the law.

Two of her sisters were once nurses at the hospital where Linda Sue Brown died. One of them has recently persuaded the state medical board to reopen a closed investigation of the circumstances surrounding Brown's death.

It can happen, and it does happen. A stronger system to protect and enforce disabled patients' rights is crucial in medical settings, because all the informal measures (a loving and informed family, nonbinding guidelines and suggested protocols, basic human decency) aren't always enough. And when those rights are violated, there have to be real consequences.

4 comments:

misscripchick said...

i JUST wrote this as a comment on another blog... that at first i thought promising myself that i'd never move to oregon b/c of the fear of being forced/pushed into assisted suicide was enough.. but it's happening everywhere.

i wish i remembered the name of the blogger (possibly bignoise?) who just posted about a 4 y/o boy being starved for 23 days b/c he had a disability.. the newspaper glorified it and turned it into an act of compassion.

Big Noise said...

Linda Sue Brown's story made me sick... And I think I can take a lot. I've asked for the California Department of (health?... what ever the appropriate agency)to send me the 72-page report mentioned in the article. When I get it, i'll share it.

Thank you for brining it to our attention.

Cilla

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