Thursday, October 25, 2007

Big Brotherism Run Amok

Let's see if I've got this right. Your government can spy on you. Your employer can spy on you. Yet your hospital doesn't have to tell you it's infection or "mistake" statistics. Two local boys can strut around town with guns slung in defiant proclamation of their second amendment rights yet a seven year old can be suspended from school for having drawn a picture of a water pistol. Zero tolerance, don't you know. There is no Constitutional amendment protecting the right to draw a picture.

One of the worst idiocies in this "we can spy on you but you can't question us" culture of ours has occurred locally over the past several days. A 91 year old woman was found in her home encrusted with feces and maggots with a bed spring embedded in her back. She did not survive her ordeal.

Her 28 year old grandson was her caregiver. It took about 5 seconds into his jailhouse interview to realize there was no there there.

For two years complaints about the stench and trash surrounding the home had been reported to the proper authorities. Social Services say they can only help those who want it - and cannot discuss individual cases due to confidentiality laws.

It is said the woman adamantly declined help. I wonder, having seen the grandson, if she was mentally competent to do so. They seemed to think she was. They were required by law to see her face to face. Just what was it they saw??

The paper had a nice little box listing the signs to look for in abuse or negligence cases.
- Poor hygiene, torn or dirty clothing or clothing inappropriate for the weather
- Bruises or other injuries
- A living environment showing signs the person can't take care of it or that a caregiver isn't taking care of it
-Evidence of intimidation or of verbal abuse

What is it they did not see?

These caveats are an insult to our intelligence and a disservice to those who most need protections. Every agency who was involved, or should have been involved, including the police, should be ashamed of themselves. A man from Meals on Wheels who had first reported his findings two years ago was devastated at the condition in which she was recently found.

The Elder Services Director said he had done the right thing by reporting the conditions. Too bad they didn't.


Word Tosser said...

In the 1990's when they put
H.I.P.P.A. (Google it to get the info) in force, it tied a lot of hands. There are heavy fines for abuse of it. Even jail time. Where is the fine line to be crossed, surely there is a safety there isn't.
H.I.P.P.A. everyone should know about. That is the paper you sign when you go to the Dr. That is the paper you get from all the business you do business with. From your insurance company to credit cards and etc. Like everything else, there is some good parts and some bad parts. The ones that defy common sense is the bad part.

Sarah Conway said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.