Archive for the ‘accountability’ Category

OJ Didn’t Mean It

December 10, 2008

Yeah right. The judge in this case is on record as saying that she’s not here for paybacks…But from a non legalese standpoint, paybacks are a bitch. ūüôā

Jennifer Hudson “Domestic Issues”

October 25, 2008

By now we all know that Jennifer Hudson’s mother and brother were recently murdered. The media, noting that there is a male suspect, ¬†reports a history of¬†“domestic issues”.¬†

That phrase, or its twin “domestic dispute” is a ¬†terribly ¬†insidious euphemism. It suggests an issue or dispute over who left the socks on the floor or disagreements over household operations. When you hear it often enough in the news, the real meaning becomes so diluted that its impact upon society ¬†becomes diluted.

For purposes of my post this morning, let me give you the exact definition I found at good old dictionary.com: 

euphemism – the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt.

Of course domestic violence is what’s really being substituted here. ¬†Bland domestic disputes don’t result in a woman calling the police for help. Bland domestic disputes don’t invoke public outrage or action. ¬†I worked for two years in an agency for battered women. Speaking from first hand experience, here are what “domestic disputes” and “domestic issues” look like. And yes, these images are offensive, harsh, and blunt. ¬†Just like the domestic violence that was committed against women such as these.¬†

 

One out of every four women is assaulted by an intimate partner every day. We need more public awareness, education, advocacy and funds to help a cause much closer to home than we might think. Domestic violence crosses all socioeconomic lines. ¬†It could happen to you, your sister, your mother, your daughter. It’s about time the legal system stopped protecting the public from¬†offensive, harsh reality and started protecting the victims of the offensive, harsh reality.
If you need help, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.
        

How Hospitals Can Kill You

October 7, 2008

I read a really scary article in Live Science that is hardly comforting to people with chronic illness. I mean really scary, at least to me. Every time I’ve been rushed to the hospital I’ve felt safer the minute I was triaged into the noisy, flourescent, bustling emergency room. So many people watching you, sticking you, taking your body fluids and analyzing them. They’re not gonna let you die, right?

Wrong. I mean, we’ve all heard that hospitals screw up sometimes, but this article put it all together into one punch in the stomach whole.

The article How Hospitals Can Turn Deadly by Robert Roy Britt

mentions, in part,  the following:

Superbugs – staph infections which apparently thrive in hospitals, increasingly resistant to antibiotics, and according to the CDC responsible for 99,000 deaths in 2002. If you’re young, not to worry. ¬†Most younger people survive such infections, its the elderly who die. People like your grandparents.

Noise – causes staff stress and more errors.

Exhaustion – overworked residents and other staff are sleep deprived. A study showed that they were three times more likely to report a fatigue related “significant medical error.” I have always wondered about that when I watch Grey’s Anatomy. Not to mention all the doctors missing in action in the on call rooms. (Those scenes are accurately depicted, by the way. I used to be married to a medical resident.)

Bad timing- Whatever you do, don’t have an emergency during off hours or on the weekend. You’re more likely to wait longer for help and at a higher risk of death. This is cited in a JAMA published study on heart attack victims.

Really scary, ¬†but along the same lines, the article statees that “babies born at night are at least 12 percent¬†more likely to die¬†within 28 days, according to a different 2005 study. The reasons are thought to include fatigue and inattention related to shift changes.”

Really getting burned- This one freaked me out, I’d never heard of such a thing. Apparently, in Pennsylvania,¬†¬†“every year about 28 patients are burned during surgery by fires, such as when oxygen inside a mask ignited. Extrapolated nationwide, the data suggests 550 to 650 surgical burns occur nationwide each year, including one or two deaths, according to a recentMSNBC¬†analysis. Cathy Lake, the daughter of a surgical burn victim, createdwww.surgicalfire.org¬†to highlight the problem.”

Medication mistakes-    A 2006 study found that medication mistakes injure more than 1.5 million Americans every year.

In all fairness none of these things has ever happened to me, and I’m a frequent flier to hospital staff in the various states I have called home. ¬†But in all fairness, shouldn’t hospitals be more closely monitored for careless mistakes?? Research and exposure to the pubic about these things is one thing. But how about consequenses? We all know that in medicine, like anything other business, money is the bottom line. How about the government fining hospitals for careless mistakes? I’ll bet you that would decrease those stats.

OK, I’ll give them a break on the resistant staph thing. Who knows? Maybe its extra-terrestial or something.

Is this Justice??

May 3, 2008

I could not believe the news story I read today. A man in Texas caught his wife in a truck ¬†with her lover. She cried rape, apparently in an attempt to get away with the infidelity. Ostensibly he attempted to defend her so he shot the guy to death. No charges have been filed against the husband, but she has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter because her cry of rape incited the husband to shoot…. She faces 2-20 years in prison.¬†

I don’t know…I have a problem with this. In one respect, I get it that she has responsibility here for the lover’s death. But somehow the husband not having any accountability for killing the guy does not sit right with me. I mean, there was no mention of the lover having a weapon, tho this news story is pretty brief. But couldn’t the husband have taken a few swings at the guy rather than pull out his gun and kill him? ¬† Is this another “crime of passion” excused by the legal system? What do you think?

Parents Pick Prayer Over Medicine & Daughter Dies

March 29, 2008

Ok, this story outrages many people including me. Did you read about it? It happened out in Wisconsin. The parents of an 11 year old girl let her die, believing in the power of prayer to heal her. She died of complications from diabetes. Now, I also believe in the power of prayer. Therefore I believe in God. But I also¬†believe that God has helped humankind to discover medicine and surgical procedures to help do His work.¬† These parents are not a part of a fanatic religioius sect, in fact they are not affiliated with any particular religion, so you can’t blame cultural conditioning on their choice.¬† What can you¬† blame? I don’t know, but as a parent one thing I know for sure: despite their assertions even now that they believe they did the right thing, they will be blaming themselves until the day they die.¬†¬†

My question to you: should they be punished by our legal system?

Here is the full story: http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2008/03/parents-pick-prayer-over-docs.php

Has Anyone Ever Heard of SOUL murder???

February 22, 2008

I heard today about a pedophile priest, who admitted to using many child prostitutes. If that isn’t SOUL MURDER I don’t know what is. He was sentenced to 5 years. FIVE years.

Bad enough he used these poor children, working either as slaves, or to make a living on the streets, or to feed their parents, but he also passed up an opportunity to RESCUE them from their plight.

SOUL MURDER . And for that he got five years.

Therapist murderer got clean exam days before attack

February 21, 2008

This news article ¬†raises serious questions about both the mental health system and the legal system.¬†¬†Mental health?¬†Obviously unconscionably poor record keeping which, had all the facts been included, might have kept the man inpatient until he was stabilized.¬† A patient’s prior¬†history is always included in the decision making.¬†But some psychiatric disorders statistically include non-compliance with medications and one can’t legally hold someone based upon statistics.¬† Which also merges with¬†other legal issues. Way back when (the 70’s?)¬† the mentally ill were released in droves from insitutions to the streets in the name of patients’ rights…unfortunately they were left with no rights to¬† shelter, aftercare,¬†or treatment. Which actually merges with economic issues in terms of provider decision making…who’s paying for care, and how much is being paid?