Thursday, December 11, 2008

Esmin Green And Edith Rodriguez

“Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.” Pearl S. Buck

“A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.” Samuel Johnson

"…the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped. " Hubert H. Humphrey

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." Mahatma Gandhi

How selfish we all are. The only reason any of us even consider tolerating multi-billion dollar bailouts of horrendously mismanaged companies is because we are afraid of a trickle-down effect that will hurt us financially. Fear is not always a good reason to do something. Rewarding incompetence is idiotic.

Why give billions to failed corporations, but nothing to Esmin Green and Edith Rodriquez? I think I know the answer. We are hoping to benefit financially in some way from the governments bailouts of troubled companies. We might get some money, or get to keep our jobs. That is our hope, even it the odds are slim. What can someone like Esmin Green or Edith Rodriquez give us? Certainly not money. Perhaps our dignity, if we weren’t so blind and uncaring as a society.

Who is Esmin Green? She is the women depicted in the following article by the NYCLU.

From After Death on ER Floor, NYC Finally Agrees to Some Improvements at Brooklyn Hospital Named in Civil Rights Lawsuit:

The shocking June death and shameful neglect of a 49-year-old Brooklyn woman in the borough’s public hospital psychiatric emergency room had advocates who filed a major civil rights lawsuit against the hospital last year back in court today demanding immediate, urgent reform. Disturbing security videos show employees ignoring the woman’s convulsing body, walking past her as she lay face down and dying for more than an hour. Further, hospital medical records misrepresent her condition in a way that suggests they have been altered or not maintained with the integrity the law requires.

Nicknamed “Killer County” by those familiar with its conditions, Kings County Hospital Center is the subject of a lawsuit filed in May 2007 by the New York Civil Liberties Union, Mental Hygiene Legal Service, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP. The lawsuit describes the hospital’s psychiatric emergency room and inpatient unit as “a chamber of filth, decay, indifference and danger,” and seeks an end to abusive treatment in the hospital’s psychiatric facilities where patients are regularly ignored and those that dare advocate for themselves are punished with forcible injections of psychotropic drugs.
Kings County Hospital is the only option for many in the overwhelmingly black, low-income neighborhoods that surround it, including Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Canarsie, Crown Heights, East New York and Flatbush. But for those desperate enough to go to the hospital’s psychiatric emergency room – the notorious G Building – too often there is little help to be found. An investigation by advocates in the lead up to the lawsuit found overcrowded, dangerously unsanitary conditions where patients – including children and the physically disabled – may be ignored and abused.

In this case, the 49-year-old woman had been in the emergency room for nearly 24 hours waiting for treatment. Videos document that at 5:32 a.m. on June 19 – more than a full day after she arrived for urgent care – the woman rolled off of a waiting-room chair and fell face down on the floor. She writhed on the floor until she stopped moving at 6:07 a.m., during which time multiple hospital staff saw her and ignored her. At 6:35 a.m. a hospital employee approaches and nudges the body with her foot. Not until 6:38 a.m. – more than an hour after the patient collapsed, and a half-hour after she last moved – did staff members bring a crash cart and oxygen tank into the area.
Who is Edith Rodriquez?

From Death by vomiting on ER Floor; Murder Weapon: Denial of Universal Health Insurance by Rob Kall:
The Latina who died in the ER, Edith Rodriguez, writhing in pain, on the floor of LA's King hospital blood, was not only killed by the heartless inaction of the doctors, nurses and staff on duty there.

An LA spokesman said that "even the janitors doing an elegant job of cleaning up the vomit did nothing to help her."
Edith Rodriguez is a highly visible case. But there are an estimated tens of thousands of people who die because they don't have health insurance. Compare that to the victims of 9-11 or the 3500 troops who were killed in Iraq. These victims were killed too-- by lobbyists, politicians and health insurance corporations. Where is the outcry? And for Edith Rodriguez, let's be sure that the right people and entities are accused.
How civilized are we?

“I got mine, let me tell ya
I got mine.
I grabbed that money
Out the back door I went flying
Well, ever since the big crap game
I’ve been livin’ on chicken and wine.
I’m the leader of society
Since I got mine.” Anonymous

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