“Treason doth never prosper: What's the reason? Why if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”
“Hello, 911 Operator, what is your emergency?”
“I am at King’s Harbor Hospital and my girlfriend, Edith Rodriguez, is lying on the floor vomiting blood,” said her boyfriend, Jose Prado, as the security videos showed hospital personnel standing around while the hospital janitor mopped around Edith Rodriguez’s near lifeless body as she lie on the floor.
Edith Rodriguez, the 43-year-old mother of three children had collapsed in the emergency room of Los Angeles ' Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital . The 911 dispatch operators received two calls asking for an ambulance to be sent to the ER because the hospital personnel were not treating Ms. Rodriguez. In both cases, the dispatcher refused to comply with the request citing that treatment was available where Ms. Rodriguez was located.
Within 45 minutes, Edith Rodriguez was dead.
Of course, there will be an investigation. The 911 operators will likely be fired. The 911 service will, no doubt, settle out of court with the grief stricken Rodriguez family. The hospital will issue a statement stating that the death was regrettable and that ER procedures are under review. But no amount of concilliation will bring Edith back to life.
According to the coroner , Ms. Rodriguez’s condition was not terminal if only it had been treated in a timely fashion. Now three children will have to learn how to live without their mother because of this terrible, terrible neglect and breakdown of human decency.
Although the actions of the 911 operators and the hospital are reprehensible, the Rodriguez family’s grief is not entirely the fault of the dispatchers or the hospital ER personnel. Some common sense and a sense of compassion would have certainly been in order. If someone, anyone, would have followed the Golden Rule, Edith would now be home with her family. However, one of the unmentioned culprits, in this tragedy, lies with our broken health care system, particularly in the Southwest.
Under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1985, hospitals are obligated to treat the uninsured without reimbursement. This court mandate would include illegal alien immigrants. This one court ruling has set the stage for the demise of 100 hospitals nationwide.
The fact remains that ER’s in the American Southwest cannot afford to subsidize the health care of illegal aliens. In 2005, it cost $200 million to provide for emergency health care for illegal aliens in the Border States annually. California with over three million illegals paid $79 million. Unable to budget enough to support the influx of patients to ER’s, ER waits are long and the triage process of prioritizing patients is often an exercise in coin flipping.
If the aforementioned tragic facts do not speak for themselves, let me relate a personal story related to my own family’s experience with emergency room care right here in Phoenix .
When I read about the death of Edith Rodriguez, I experienced flashbacks and all the accompanying anger and anxiety. Both during and after the pregnancy of our son, my wife had developed some very serious health maladies. The most serious health condition was a very serious case of preeclampsia. The condition is a threat to both the unborn child and the mother. When preeclampsia is severe, it can affect many organs and cause serious or even life-threatening problems. Premature delivery is common if the woman’s condition is severe enough. As a result, my son, weighing in at 2 pounds-7 ounces, was delivered at the beginning of the 7th month of pregnancy. Fortunately, my son received expert care at St. Joseph ’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). In the two months I visited my son in the hospital, I watched in horror as I witnessed that many premature babies never left the hospital. My son was lucky, luckier than many. Today, my son is a happy, intelligent and very loving six year old. His mother and I owe his survival to the grace of God and the expert care that he received in NICU.
My wife, however, was not so lucky. My wife almost became a victim of some of the same unwarranted pressures that I believe led to the death Ms. Rodriguez. My wife spent a total of two months in the hospital in order to control the debilitating effects of preeclampsia. At first, my wife received excellent care in the intensive care unit at St. Josephs Hospital . Shortly after the birth of my son, my wife was discharged. However, within a few days, my wife’s condition worsened and we experienced a nightmare series of events at the hands of St. Josephs ER and their “general admission” hospital room staff.
When we arrived at the hospital, my wife was doubled over in pain. After filling out the obligatory paperwork, my wife was banished to a corner of the ER to suffer in silence. It took two hours for the nurse to take her vitals. It took another 7 hours to see the doctor. In between, I had 3 conversations with ER personnel about the seriousness of the condition only to receive a variety of cereal box answers designed to gain my silence. Finally, when the infection spread to the point where my wife’s caesarian section (from delivery) eventually burst, I was finally able to get the attention of medical personnel in order that my wife would receive, by this time, lifesaving treatment. And this treatment was only obtained only after I engaged in a series of histrionic rants.
My wife’s situation was potentially life threatening and was treated with all the seriousness that a physician’s assistant would treat the cold and flu. And the cold and the flu was precisely what were mostly individuals were being treated for at the ER, while my wife suffered in abject agony. I cannot tell you what country most of the cold and flu sufferers hailed from. However, I do know that it was not the United States . And I could also tell you that most did not speak English and required interpreters in order to receive treatment ahead.
During her second stay in the hospital, my wife was continually packed with gauze. On the final day to remove the gauze, the nurse inadvertently left one of the gauze pads in my wife’s closing wound. When I chased the nurse down, insisting that she needed to recheck my wife for a gauze pad that I believed was left in her abdomen, she was indignant and rude. Only after I relentlessly insisted, did the nurse check and subsequently find and remove one more gauze pad. So, if you think that the Edith Rodriguez’s tragedy is just an aberration in our health care system, think again. The same almost happened to the Hodges’ family and it could most certainly happen to your family. Our health care system is broken and is financially choking on the wave of illegal immigrants which receive free health care on our nickel. And many times, this “free” medical care is delivered at the expense of our loved ones health and safety. Most nurses, today, are overworked and exhausted by this broken system. Why do you think there is such a nursing shortage?
In the United Nations sponsored annual health care report, the U.S. is credited with having the most expensive health care in the world. However, in terms of overall health care effectiveness, the U.S. ranks 30th in the world http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/27/53/35779248.pdf; www.irdes.fr/ecosante/OCDE/500.html; ). Why? Perhaps it is because we are paying for the health care of several nations at once. Unable to budget for this travesty, ER’s are under-funded, understaffed, the care is often substandard and in the case of people like Ms. Rodriguez, our health care system can prove deadly!
As of 2005, 84 California hospitals closed their doors as a direct result of the rising number of illegal aliens and the subsequent non-reimbursed burden on the health care system. “One year of illegal alien health care costs would pay for border fences along our Southern border,” according to Congressman Gary Miller from California (http://www.house.gov/garymiller/IllegalsCost2005.html).
The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons report on this subject included the following recommendations in the protection of Americans and their health:
Closing America 's borders with fences, high-tech security devices and troops.
Rescinding the U.S. citizenship of "anchor babies."
Punishing the aiding and abetting of illegal aliens as a crime.
An end to amnesty programs (http://www.jpands.org/vol10no1/cosman.pdf).
At first glance, Senator Jon Kyl would seem to agree with the abovementioned recommendations when on May 23rd he stated, “Since entering the Senate in 1995, I have worked to inform people in Washington about the problems we face in Arizona because of porous borders and the importance of controlling our borders to protect our national security. I have sponsored and co-sponsored a number of bills to strengthen the resources of our border law enforcement, including recent legislation to dramatically increase the number of Border Patrol agents, along with funding for technology and other resources. Washington is finally beginning to recognize the dire need for America to enforce its immigration laws and secure our borders (http://www.phxnews.com/fullstory.php?article=21492).” Please tell us, what happened Jon?
Of course we all realize that Senators Kyl and McCain are in favor of the passage of SB 1348 which will bring millions of more illegal immigrants to our country, over 100 million more people to be exact. Further, most informed Americans know that this influx of illegal aliens is in service to the corporate need for cheap labor. Public safety and health care be damned.
Profits over people, right Senators?
Senators Kyl and McCain, how many more people have to suffer and potentially die because of your servitude to the greed and lust of the global corporations and their insatiable thirst for illegal immigrant labor?
Arizonans should hold these reasons to recall Senators McCain and Kyl for their treasonous betrayal of the public trust in attempting to pass SB 1348, to be self evident (email@example.com).
Treason prospers every single day that we let these senators, and those of similar character, stay in office.
I was lucky enough to get my wife back. Edith Rodriguez should have gone home to her children.
© 2007 All Rights Reserved
Dave Hodges is a former Republican who left the party in 2003. Dave has appeared on several radio shows and has written for several web sites across the country. Dave Hodges is not aligned with the political right or the political left. He is a constitutionalist and believes that the answer to our country’s problems lies in following the wisdom of the Founding Fathers and following the United States Constitution. Dave Hodges is currently the spokesperson for the Arizona Coalition to Protect Personal Property Rights which is a grass roots organization which is tasked with the responsibility in assisting Arizonans in the defense of their personal property rights. Dave Hodges is also the Chairperson of the Constitution Party of Arizona. Nationally, the Constitution Party is the fastest growing party in the country and the party now stands as the third largest party. Presently in Arizona , a ballot eligibility drive is underway and will be completed by the fall of 2007. To find out more about the Constitution Party, please visit the web site at www.constitutionparty.org. If you would like Dave Hodges to speak to your group, or organization, he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.