Monday, September 18, 2006

Hospital Homicide II

The homicide verdict is not an attempt to destroy a hospital or all ERs (as one emailer suggested), but the honest verdict of a jury of 6 that there was a “gross deviation from the standard of care” and that the inaction in this case was “reckless”. By our definitions of manner of death that is “homicide” (again recall that does not mean criminal homicide).

This case and its publicity should prompt system change, locally and nationally. The system failed at Vista East. This 49 y/o did not get the care and treatment she deserved, because the system failed. This is a quality of care issue. The quality of care Ms Vance received was sub-standard (to say the least). I’m not attempting to point fingers or get anyone charged or convicted of homicide (although by our definition this death is a homicide). I want the system (Vista’s and everywhere that it is wanting) and the quality improved. I think there should be outside oversight to ensure their system is changed and, once changed, that it is maintained (this oversight should occur everywhere there are these system, quality problems).

This is a social justice, a greater good issue. No one should have to die like Ms Vance did, feet from life-saving treatment. The quality of medical care must be improved. No more excuses about an overburdened system. Develop systems (quality) to ensure this never happens again.
When I ran for office, I pledged to also investigate “medical misadventures”. Just as our office obviously is there to serve decedents who can no longer serve themselves, just as much we are here to protect the living residents of Lake County and to forestall death when we can1


Anonymous said...

Thank you for talking about this and for doing something. You are right, the system has to change and you are helping to change it.

Sean Cononie said...

At first when I saw the news I thought , NO we can't do this because why should someone face criminal charges for making a mistake like this. I was worried about Emergency rooms closing , nurses and doctors not wanting to work in the ER's. I was also worried about how insurance companies cut their payments to hospitals causing less staff and thought how can we blame a nurse for these actions with such a over burdened system. I was sick two years ago and went to a doctor when I was traveling and the doctor two straight days said I had the flu. Meanwhile my temperature was 104, I could not move my neck, I kept my hands over my eyes indoors because the lights we so bright and I was vomiting every 15 minutes. A first year med student should have saw that I had meningitis. This doctors almost killed me. A few hours after leaving his office I was in critical care in a coma with bacterial meningitis. My eyes still today make me see double vision. So I understand how the system needs to improve. The doctor hid all his assets and had no malpractice insurance. Meanwhile the agencies I ran almost faced destruction. The agencies I run..... Deal with human rights, health care for the poor and homeless, homeless shelters, orphans and Hiv programs in Haiti to name a few. I also sit on the MRSA task force of South Florida, Inc . This agency was formed because doctors and ER's made many mistakes on poor people and were not doing wound cultures on people with no insurance. I would see our homeless loose their toes and in some cases their leg. Some came to the point of being placed in ICU. All because the ER doctor sent them home with an antibiotic that did not work on MRSA. In some cases we would send the homeless person with a note asking the Doctor to do a wound culture and state to them that there was a MRSA problem at the shelter, still the doctors would do as they pleased. When the homeless in Arizona were not provided cooling off stations and about 14 to 16 died of heat stoke I sent a letter to the city counsel of that community and told them that they had better provide cooling off stations to the homeless as way to bring a remedy to the situation and I told them if they did not provide such services to the homeless then I knew in my heart that they neglected them after I warned them and that I would fly there and file a complaint to the state attorneys office and the United States Department of Justice. This was the fastest letter I ever got back in less than a day by a fax saying they would resolve the problem. When is it time to prosecute people for things like a bad disaster plan in New Orleans? Should the Mayor, the Governor, The President be prosecuted for such a bad response ? Yes and No.... If they attempt to make changes for this social injustice then lets make change .... However if we continue to let it happen then we need to start somewhere. I am glad it is not criminal homicide , at first I was not in agreement with this plan of Dr. Keller. I must say after reading this blog, that he wants to set standards and improve heath care everywhere. My hat goes off to Dr. Keller for trying to make changes for the safety of all of us. Everybody knows that doctors stick up for doctors and cops stick up for cops .... etc For a man in the same medical profession to stand up for the rights of this woman it must be from the heart. Dr. Keller go ahead and make the changes and stick up for the rights of the people the world forgets about.

Sean Anthony Cononie
Peoples United Nations, Inc

Anonymous said...

I, as the mother of a son, who died suspiciously, have requested a coroner's inquest for about 3 years. I am still waiting! (Joshua Robinson) Attached documents.