And Matthew 25:40-46 (NIV) reads: “The King will reply,…

‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Let the desensitization continue…

This week, disturbing video footage out of Brooklyn, NY showed a woman dying on a hospital floor after numerous employees of the hospital, inclusive of a doctor, nurses and even a security guard, walked past her while she writhed on the waiting room floor. (…, whatever you did not do for the least of these,…) Esmin Green was involuntarily admitted to the hospital on June 18 for what the hospital described as “agitation and psychosis”. The morning of June 19, she was sitting in a waiting room chair, proceeded to fall out of her chair face-down, and convulsed on the floor for about an hour until an employee came and nudged her with her foot, only then recognizing that she was unconscious. The employee then called for help three minutes later. (…, whatever you did not do for the least of these,…) She fell at 5:32am, stopped moving at 6:07am, was nudged at 6:32 am and didn’t receive help until, doing the math, 6:35am. An hour and three minutes worth of videotape exists with all of this happening, not forgetting the doctor, the security guard, and other employees who watched while standing over her, sitting in a rolling chair to peak and rolling away or even nudging her. (…, whatever you did not do for the least of these,…)

But that’s not the end:

Her records were then falsified to make it appear that she was not on the ground as long as she was:

Contrary to what was recorded from four different angles by the hospital’s video cameras, the patient’s medical records say that at 6 a.m., she got up and went to the bathroom, and at 6:20 a.m. she was ‘sitting quietly in waiting room’ — more than 10 minutes since she last moved and 48 minutes after she fell to the floor.

What my mother would call a bold-faced lie. This same hospital in May 2007 had a lawsuit filed against them by the NY Civil Liberties Union and the Mental Hygiene Legal Service for maintaining filthy facilities inclusive of “patients sleeping in plastic chairs or floors covered in urine, feces and blood while waiting for beds, …, and often going without basic hygiene such as showers, clean linens and clean clothes. The lawsuit claims that patients who complain face physical abuse and are injected with drugs to keep them docile”. The lawsuit went on to say the hospital lacks “the minimal requirements of basic cleanliness, space, privacy, and personal hygiene that are constitutionally guaranteed even to convicted felons”. (…, whatever you did not do for the least of these,…)

That is an understatement.

Esmin Green, a mother of 6 children who she left in Jamaica but still sent money to, was not treated like a felon; that would be too nice. She was treated like an animal; people nudge animals with their feet to see if they are awake and they may not even do that. Edit: She was treated worse than animal and we should be ashamed, appalled and frightened by this video. I can only imagine that if this video was leaked and showed this horrible sight. what other videos exist of similar things? Unfortunately, she died but I can only further imagine how long other patients lie on the floor and how they are treated when/if they actually get treatment. Do they live? In my mind, I would begin to suspect negligence in any of this hospital’s deaths that appeared remotely similar to this one. This was someone’s mother, friend, church member, neighbor and you thought that much of her and her “agitating and psychotic” nature that you left her on the floor like an old rug? You considered her that much…

And this bothers me even more because this is the second time in almost a month to the day that someone elderly or “not well” has been treated like he/she was invisible. (After all, old people aren’t really “people” because they don’t have much longer on this Earth to bother us…?) And the first occurrence happened in my home state. Angel Arce Torres is hit by a car and lies in the street for almost two minutes before a fateful police cruiser drives by him and helps and only four 911 calls are placed? (…, whatever you did not do for the least of these,…) And it wasn’t that there were only four people who saw him get hit or were afraid of meeting the same fate because the video footage shows people crossing the street by foot and veering around him in their cars and on motorcycles. Don’t get me wrong, the hit-and-run driver is totally culpable but the “gawkers” who stood and watched…they could have done something, even if they were in shock…

We have become so desensitized to death, and let alone to life, that we can see people literally dying and not even think to call 911 or for medical help? It’s free on your cell phone. No minutes or charges. And if you’re in a hospital, I want to believe there should be an abundance of trained medical people. After all, that’s what hospitals are for, right? Doctors and nurses, most likely go to school 5+ years and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for it in order to work in hospitals I think…? Those seven workers in that hospital should not just be fined and suspended; they should be charged with reckless endangerment and the consequences associated with it. Aiding and abetting has consequences; watching someone die and not helping them when that’s your job should too. And I want to believe that this nonchalance was not motivated by race or gender but nowadays, you never know, especially when the people entrusted to serve and protect citizens, regardless of their criminal pasts, turn a blind eye on each other and then someone meets an untimely end… (…, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me…and I’m not saying what this man allegedly did was right but unjust actions should not beget unjust actions…)

I don’t purport to know the solutions to the world’s ill but whenever faced with situations like these, I go into it with a posture to help as I am humanly capable because I want to believe that if ever I found myself in the situations of Torres or Green, let alone my mother or father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandparent, friend and yes even stranger, someone would help me. But I guess I may put too much faith in humanity after all, this is the second time in two months something like this has been publicized. What do we not know? (…, whatever you did not do for the least of these,…)

The American health care system needs severe reform as do American people who walk idly by and allow such travesties to occur. It is a shame that people have to be critically injured or die for us to get our wake up call to the little compassion that still exists and the huge apathy that persists in our world. But in the words of Sen. Dick Durbin, speaking about the GOP’s attempts to slime Michelle Obama, the hottest ring in Hell is reserved for those in society who mete out justice and judgment in the most perverse of ways.

…, whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me.

UPDATE: The desensitization continues. I agree with the post’s title: where is the line? Obviously it has been blurred…


~ by thingzfal1apart on July 3, 2008.

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