Town Square

Patient checks out -- five years later

Original post made on Jul 1, 2007

Last Tuesday, on the sixth floor of El Camino Hospital's medical care unit, a small gathering of nursing staff and others came together to celebrate the release of one of the hospital's best known, and longest residing, patients.

Read the full story here Web Link


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Posted by Diana
a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2007 at 6:55 pm

So often you hear about Doctors who cater to the desires of the insurance companies, and are more concerned about cutting costs and seeing such a volume of patients that they have to look repeatedly at your chart to pretend to know your name... what a refreshing story to hear of a doctor really going out on a limb for a patient. Way to go Doc! Welcome home (finally) Jimmy!

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Posted by A. Patel
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jul 3, 2007 at 1:34 pm

The doctor who fights off insurance companies, hospital administrators and all other bureaucrats. Sounds like a herculean tail of a person who fought tyrannical policy makers who only care about the bottom line.

But here's a question, how much money do we have to spend on someone who will never be a productive member of society? Over the five years, how many people who needed health care services were either turned away or delayed because there were no beds available?

In isolation, I applaud this doctor's efforts. When you factor in scarcity, the decision was dubious at best.

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Posted by Another Perspective
a resident of another community
on Jul 3, 2007 at 10:23 pm

This would be a failing of the system. Not the doctor. To devalue the life of an individual simply because his body didn't work is appalling. Look at the contributions of Steven Hawking and Christopher Reeve to cite a couple of examples.

I find it hard to believe that the bed of one man would have threatened the life or well being of other potential patients. If the unit was full, the patient is diverted. It's that simple. They are not denied health care if it is needed.

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Posted by H. Admin
a resident of another community
on Jul 4, 2007 at 1:52 pm

Typically I get flack for decisions like this. A. Patel definitely has a point. We've had situations where we've had to turn away patients, and yes, they do get care elsewhere, but oftentimes during the transportation period their condition worsens.

Reeve and Hawking are excellent examples of physically debilitated patients who have provided inspiration and hope to society. But what if the patient is a vegetable? There is some point we have to realize it is better for us as a society to focus our health care on others. Health care isn't free.

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Posted by Another Perspective
a resident of another community
on Jul 4, 2007 at 9:42 pm

Yet this article, and this family, depicts the person in question as cognitively fully aware.

I have worked at this hospital... I'm unsure where "H. Admin" works, but most of the time this hospital is NOT full, and the acuity in question is not so high that individuals cannot be delayed or diverted.

I've even transported patients from this hospital to others. Few deteriorate of any clinical significance that weren't going to deteriorate otherwise.

The same argument could be used with regard to the elderly, you know, they're going to die anyway, no? So why continue to care for them? They aren't continuing to contribute to society...

Red herring... and a sick one to boot.

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Posted by Jimmy's Dad
a resident of another community
on Jul 31, 2007 at 8:41 pm

In response to A. Patel.
What is your solution to the medically needed who, in your words, "will never be a productive member of society". What happens to the mentally retarded, the severe stroke victims, ALS victims? Jimmy was a tax paying blue collar productive worker until 30 years of age and he took pride in his work. Now that he is a man trapped in his body what is society's obligation to him? Obviously in your opinion none. He's a throw away. Was Jimmy not the catalyst for the productivity of his health care workers? I wonder what kind of fate you wish for yourself if you ever become a non-productive member of society?

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Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Aug 8, 2007 at 3:23 pm

it's great to read about another satisfied patient and his family about their time at El Camino Hospital, and the wonderful treatment they received from administrators no matter their financial circumstances.