Death by indifference…

August 26, 2007 at 8:17 AM (Katrina) ()

At this link, and discussed on CNN earlier this morning…

Even though several medical experts classified questionable deaths in a hospital at the center of Katrina two years ago “homicides…” the perpetrators will not be indicted let alone convicted and the case is closed.
After the dismissal, the doctor involved admitted giving those doses, but that she saw the patient’s deaths’ resulting from those dosages as ‘helping’ them…

I’d like to ask the district attorney that closed this case:

Are you indicating that Katrina created a new category of permissible killing….Medical death dealing by morphine and versed *acceptable* under the law because of an ill prepared government?

Are you indicating that certain lives…the “difficult to move,” are expendable in certain situations?

Please elaborate.

Those of us who are *difficult to move* would like to know.

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And, in California…an assisted suicide law modeled closely on Oregon’s present law is narrowly defeated…

Via the Disability Studies Blog, the LA Times is puzzled that some disabled activists oppose ‘right to die’ legislation, since they often fightfor individual liberty.

Point one: Sometimes we cost a lot to keep alive.

Point two: We have to *be* alive to enjoy our individual rights and liberties.

Point three: No corporation or care site should be given any more traction or *positive* feedback in relation to the idea that inimical pressure to consent to euthanasia, or actually taking that step is actually a positive cog in the machine of health care cost containment.

I understand that supporters of the law in California would never *mean* for it to be used in that way…that the law on paper has *safeguards* against any such thing.

But media and legislators set up this law and are embracing the *theory* in it, the *idea* of how it would be implemented.

A significant quote from the article:

Disability rights advocates “have a lot of credibility on this,” said Marilyn Golden, a policy analyst for the Berkeley-based Disability Rights Education Defense Fund who lobbied hard against AB 374. “We are on the front lines of this issue as it actually plays out in the medical system.”

Disabled and chronically ill and elderly people are where that rubber hits the road. We are always at that space where such laws become practice, and fact and day to day decision making.

Life cannot be *made* cost effective for many of us…and we fear that “market forces” will drive us out of existence.

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Boggled Blogging

September 26, 2005 at 9:21 PM (Able Bodied Antics, Katrina)

Brown is still working for FEMA. As a consultant to the review of what went wrong with Katrina, he’ll get four weeks of pay for his efforts.

We really are living in the Matrix. This is proof.

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Goodness, Justice and Mercy

September 23, 2005 at 6:08 PM (Katrina, Rita)

Sandra Rhodes Duncan works at a family run funeral home in New Orleans. They’ve begun to bury a very few of Katrina’s dead, one in particular a wheelchair bound man who died on his way to help. Four weeks later, he was able to be buried, far from New Orleans, his home. The process for claiming a body is long and bureaucratic. The stories of some of the families who come to her are in this article, from the LA Times and I encourage you to read them.
But the one that can make the reader shake their head with anger and disbelief comes from Sandra’s own family, later in the article.

” …Sandra’s son and her ex-husband, Otis, 61, a diabetic who has used a wheelchair since his leg was amputated.Otis had gone without dialysis for five days when their sons, Otis Jr., 35, and Orrin, 34, decided to push his wheelchair down the highway in search of help. They ended up walking miles.They were near safety that Wednesday after the hurricane most of the way across the Crescent City Bridge into Gretna, La. when an armed officer told them to turn back because Gretna officials were concerned about looting.”

That man in the wheelchair needed help. His sons were heroes for walking him out, not leaving him to die in his home, or the Superdome, or the Convention Center to be forgotten and perhaps die in his chair waiting for some passing photographer.

The men on that line guarding Gretna felt they were protecting their home, according to another LA Times article, linked just above.

In what universe does an ill older man in a wheelchair with two of his sons constitute a threat of looting?
I just genuinely want to know what went though the mind of the officer closest to them, as they were turned back?

“By the time they made it out of New Orleans, hitching a ride on a truck, the younger men’s feet were bloody and covered with rashes. Otis Sr. had fallen out of his wheelchair three times while they were walking and had open wounds on his head. He was nearly in a coma.”

Otis Sr.’s medical condition could have been made much much worse by that miles long walk to Gretna, or whatever time it took his sons to hitch that ride on the back of the truck. The storm was bad enough. The levee breaks were terrible.
Did common sense and decency and compassion flee Gretna ‘s peace officers ahead of Katrina?
It seems impossible.

Or were their actions a symptom of a larger problem?

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Lovely Rita

September 22, 2005 at 9:04 AM (Katrina, Rita)

I hope:

That every family in the path of this storm who has a disabled family member either living with them or on their own helps them evacuate with appropriate medicine and mobility, where possible.

I hope the disabled with non-famillial support systems can work the phone and email like a maniac until *someone* a case worker, advocate, PCA, friend can help them,

Those that have disabilities, but have little established support need to work the phone as above to officals involved in preparation until they get an answer.

The bus question has been answered a bit more with this storm than with the last, … but are accessible alternatives available?

I support the early evacuations from nursing homes and hospitals, while wondering if the disabled living in public housing benefitted from similar forethought…

On the whole the Texans seem better hooked in, better prepared. Perhaps those who bungled Katrina have learned some lessons.

I understand this storm is coming closer to New Orleans than previously believed.

the name of Rita is already infamous there, the name of the nursing home where folk drowned.

Those of you who pray, please do. Those who do not, please hope.

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Flooded school busses too warm

September 19, 2005 at 9:00 PM (Katrina)

for FEMA to agree to use them. From the Baton Rouge Advocate:

a story about turf, assumptions, and how they hindered the Katrina evacuation.

Just read.

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