Creative Destruction

February 15, 2007

Best Healthcare in the World?

Filed under: Current Events,Disability Issues,Health Care — Daran @ 12:48 pm

Patient ‘dumping’ probe widens

The Los Angeles city attorney’s office is investigating whether a Hollywood hospital violated multiple laws when it attempted to leave a paraplegic man on a gurney at the Midnight Mission — hours before he was left in a skid row gutter, officials said Monday.

A video, filmed by security cameras at the Midnight Mission early Thursday, shows two workers from Hollywood Presbyterian arriving by ambulance and trying to wheel the man, who is strapped down to the gurney, into the mission courtyard. They are confronted by security guards, who, according to mission officials, asked about the man’s follow-up care.

[…]

The video widens the probe into what happened to the man, who witnesses said was later left in a gutter by the driver of a van hired by the hospital. As of late Monday, he was a patient at County-USC Medical Center.

This earlier article describes that later act in more detail:

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.

The incident, witnessed by more than two dozen people, was described by police as a particularly outrageous case of “homeless dumping” that has plagued th downtown area.

[…]

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.”

This is not an isolated incident.

It’s easy to point the finger at the workers and the hospital, but that won’t provide the resources and services these people need. Christian charity won’t either.

(Hat Tip)

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6 Comments »

  1. The irony is that the people being dumped generally have access to adequate resources – it’s just that they are so dysfunctional, they cannot manage their own health care. But at the same time, the hospital doesn’t have the power to administer it for them. They end up being shoved back and forth between agencies who have responsibility but not authority – and as any organizational theorist will tell you, when someone has responsibility but not authority, they quickly find a way to ditch the responsibility. It’s tragic.

    Comment by Robert — February 15, 2007 @ 3:06 pm | Reply

  2. The biggest question is how high up does it go?

    Was it done against doctors orders? Or was the responsible physician complicit?

    Was it suggested or condoned by the shift supervisor? By someone in hospital top management?

    Where did the EMTs come from and why did they think they could do this?

    Was the hospital’s legal counsel involved?

    Comment by ohwilleke — February 15, 2007 @ 9:41 pm | Reply

  3. it’s just that they are so dysfunctional, they cannot manage their own health care.

    every time i read another awful patient-dumping story, i can’t help but wonder if any of these poor people have any family who could manage that for them.

    Comment by emily1 — February 17, 2007 @ 9:43 am | Reply

  4. Emily1:

    every time i read another awful patient-dumping story, i can’t help but wonder if any of these poor people have any family who could manage that for them.

    I just realised I borked the third link in the post:

    Marcus Joe Licon, 62, wanted to be taken to his son’s house when he was released from hospital, where he had gone with a painful knee. After being given some painkillers, the ambulance took him to Skid Row. The police took him home.

    “Our supervisors gave that guy a ride back to his house,” Sergeant Greg McManus told reporters. “His family was outraged. Not only did they not know he had been discharged but the fact he had been brought to Skid Row instead of back home was a further outrage.”

    😦

    Comment by Daran — February 17, 2007 @ 12:34 pm | Reply

  5. The biggest question is how high up does it go?

    An even bigger question is what the heck is the hospital supposed to do?

    Comment by Daran — February 17, 2007 @ 12:37 pm | Reply

  6. now, i’m confused. why did they dump that man in Skid Row instead of calling his family? if he was cogent enough to ask them to take him to his son’s home, then surely he was cogent enough to give them contact information. what is going on with these hospitals?

    Comment by emily1 — February 17, 2007 @ 1:26 pm | Reply


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