< li>< h2>< ?php _e('Archives'); ?>< /h2> < form id="archiveform" action=""> < select name="archive_chrono" onchange="window.location = (document.forms.archiveform.archive_chrono [document.forms.archiveform.archive_chrono.selectedIndex].value);"> < option value=''>Select Month < ?php get_archives('monthly','','option'); ?> < /select> < /form> < /li>

Monday, July 17, 2006

Pick Up the Receiver

I received a copy of the Receiver's First Monthly Report filed with the US District Court for Northern California. The background is that an inmate named Marciano Plata brought a class action suit against the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR), claiming the medical system was inadequate and even harmful. Upon a lengthy investigation, the Court determined Plata's claim was true, and ordered the entire medical delivery system into receivership.

The Receiver, Robert Sillen, verifies the Court's findings, but "unfortunately, he has well concluded that the situation in California's prisons is, perhaps, worse" than the situation as already known to the Court. After visiting prisons, speaking with everyone from officials, employees, to inmates, he reports:

The medical services provided by the CDCR are without question "broken beyond
repair," as found by the Court in the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. Almost
every necessary element of a working medical care system either does not exist,
or functions in a state of abject disrepair, including but not limited to the following:
medical records, pharmacy, information technology, peer review, training, chronic
disease care, and specialty services. Similar to the conditions reported to the Court,
the Receiver has observed cases where inmate/patients did not receive adequate
care because of their inability to access care; also, and perhaps more disturbing, he
has reviewed cases where inmate/patients did not receive adequate care even after
accessing the CDCR medical care system.

Well, it strikes me that the Receiver is a bit naive in finding things "worse" than already reported; he should have been shocked to find something changed or better than reported. While the Receiver suggests numerous causes for the "broken beyond repair" system, both from within and without the system (and you can read a poor scan of the entire document as filed with the Court here), it seems to miss something blatantly obvious: our "inmate/patients" are some of the most loathsome, despicable, despised, and dangerous members of humanity. We have warehoused them (in CA at 200% over designed capacity) precisely, and in most cases justifiably, for this reason: they don't belong among us.

Nevertheless, this inextricable mindset of "inmate/patient" is more than an adjective. Only with the emphasis on "inmate" can a medical delivery system become "broken beyond repair"; broken to the point where union members speak of literally carrying on their person specific instructions that, should they be hurt or injured on the job, they refuse medical "treatment " provided by the facility. These patients are removed from society, yet they retain their humanity. It is not a job for everyone; how many times, and how many ways can it be said? But for those who choose it, it seems incumbent to set a standard as high as those practicing outside the walls. CA CDCR is a scandal against humanity.


Post a Comment

<< Home