14 Jun 2007

PG-13 Rant: Corporate Murder or Could it be they just Didn’t Give a Damn … In Memory of Edith Isabel

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Black History, Bobby's World, Contemporary Ethics, Kingdom, Race Relations, Suffering

Ok, folks I apologize for the expletive in my PG-13 title but at the moment it is the only word I can think of. Eugene Peterson once noted that cursing was once holy language before it degenerated into mere profanity. I am not using mere profanity however. But I am upset!

I was crusin’ through MSNBC reading the latest headlines and came across “Woman dies in ER lobby as 911 refuses help.” The story is dated 7:43 am, June 13, 2007. Here is a link: HERE

Edith Rodriguez was in the emergency room in the inner-city of Los Angeles, she was in obvious pain and was bleeding from the mouth. The doctors, nurses and staff of Martin Luther King, Jr-Harbor Hospital let this woman, one of God’s creatures, die. Her boyfriend/husband even called 911 from within the ER! They refused to help. Later a second call to 911 came from the same ER from a total stranger seeking aid for this poor woman. They still refused to help her. When they finally got the nearby Police officers to “assist,” they decided to arrest her for a parole violation! Edith Rodriguez died as the Police were taking her out of the hospital.

Folks there is something screwed up in this land. We worry our little hearts that Paris Hilton might be exposed to a staff infection because she has to go to a jail session.  Yet we simply could care less about a woman who is bleeding to death in the ER. How is it possible that trained doctors and nurses could be so devoid of humanity?

The head of the county Department of Health Services said this was “fundamentally a failure of caring” … but it is “getting better.”

What a bunch of baloney. What happened in that ER was more than a failure to care. It was a failure to even give a damn!!!!!

The Doctors, the nurses, the staff in that ER are responsible for the death of an innocent woman who simply had the misfortune of being at an inner-city hospital. I am going out on a limb here but is this not simply corporate murder? If it was Paris Hilton in that ER she would have been rushed through so they could x-ray her broken fingernail.

This is America, the United States, the richest, by far the most powerful nation on the planet, how could this happen? It happens because our national values are simply and utterly screwed up. We will spend almost 600 billion dollars on weapons this year … but a poor woman gets arrested in the ER rather than the care of a fellow human being.

Though speaking explicitly of pay, James 5 speaks prophetically to our situation. I have altered the wording only slightly:

Look! The care you failed to give the poor who mowed your lawns is crying out against you. The cries of the maid have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent people, who were not your enemies” (Stoned Campbell paraphrase of James 5.4-6).

Dear God of the Oppressed … have mercy upon us. Father help us to care.

Bobby Valentine

18 Responses to “PG-13 Rant: Corporate Murder or Could it be they just Didn’t Give a Damn … In Memory of Edith Isabel”

  1. David Cook Says:

    Great post. Similiar frustrations I see even in the own ranks of our small little rural town. We simply overlook the unwanteds for the sake of our own comfort. We faile to give a rip about the less than fortunate because we have forgotten what it is like to be less than fortunate. We elevate ourselves above the have not’s in an efort to proclaim that we have it all together! Forget ethics and morality those things hardly exist in our self advancement culture. These kind of things (in the words of Peter Griffin) Grind My Gears.I am not sure if there is an answer except to be models of the Compassion of Jesus.

  2. Larry James Says:

    Bobby, bless your heart, your life, your soul! When will we wake up to our racism, apathy and classist discriminaiton? Keep aksing us!

    The sad thing is this happens every day in a fashion that is much less dramatic, much slower or incremental, but still the same deal.

    Failure to “give a damn,” I like that, though many will be more upset by this choice of language than by the situation that makes your so angry!

  3. hamiam Says:

    Oh Bobby,

    I share your frustrations, your anguish. Always, but especially this week. This Paris Hilton crap, this political BS with my daughter’s school, and this…it’s all so fuzzed up (yes, that is the Heather Meyer version of the f word – “fuzz”ed b/c it is a total fuzzing of priorities).

    Funny you should label this with “contemporary ethics” is there such a thing anymore? Corruption everywhere…

    I’m feeling spiritually attacked with all the adversity handed me recently….

  4. Don Says:

    This hospital is an example of caring in name only. The problem isn’t money there was plenty of money thrown at this hospital. The problem is greed by those who think something is owed to them {I’m not talking about the patients but the hospital staff and Administration).

    What many don’t know is that this hospital was established as an inner city hospital and has Maxine Waters’ and Jessie Jackson’s political backing. What has happened is they gave so many jobs to relatives and friends it just became a government subsidized “unwelfare” hospital.

    Just another example of as a friend of mine recently said, (when)”caring about caring and sharing about sharing” becomes more important than actually doing something.

    Just another example of bigotry knows no color, apathy is easily bought, classism is even amongst those who think they care.

    I’ve noticed since I started my comment that many have ASSumed a white on non-white crime here.
    Makes you want to go Hmmmmmmm?

  5. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    The following comment was emailed to me by Charles Babb. He was unable to post it … so I am posting it for him:

    Well, when we start asking what God says about wealth then perhaps our
    attitudes will change.

    Currently, we have exchanged the truth for a lie and as a result are
    ignoring the words of the Lord from Genesis to Revelation on the treatment of the poor, widow, orphan, and alien.

    There is something deeply wrong in this land.

    For that matter, it extends into a church culture.

    Why is it we have million dollar drives for new buildings all the time and proudly display blueprints and new land acquisitions but rarely do we see shepherds going to the people to ask for funds for purely spiritual reasons.

    I.e., “We have been approached by 10 worthy possibilities for the Kingdom. We have no way to fund this but know you will provide it since the Lord has blessed you. Therefore, we have stepped forward in faith and will do whatever is necessary to raise the funds to please our Lord for the Misseo

    Why is this not happening?

    Why is it when approached about church planting, growing congregations will say, “We have the next phase of our building to pay for and are hoping to reach our target attendance goal first. THEN, we will consider church

    Something is wrong, and it isn’t just within our nation.

    We must seek the face of God and be HIS people, be formed by HIS Image, HIS dreams, HIS desires, and be devoted to HIS glory and honor.

    I pray some day we will embark on that journey as a people. I pray we will be, like Israel, a wandering people in the desert of our world to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness.

    Charles Babb

  6. Justin Says:

    I don’t understand, even after reading the story, what the hospital’s reason for not treating her was. Does anyone know that? Surely they had some sort of reason for the lack of treatment.

    Don raises a good point as well. I immediately thought that there was some sort of white against non white racism happening here, but its interesting to note that that wasn’t necessarily the case.

    Once again, government doesn’t solve all our problems. Maranatha.

  7. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    Don you raise some interesting questions. But I have not made any assumption about white or non-white. I have no idea what color the doctor was (except the quoted Dr in the article is as vanilla as I am). The lady was Hispanic.

    I am not concerned what the colors were. I am concerned that this happened to a human being.

    Justin I have not been able to find any justification as to why this woman was not cared for. What has upset my wife even more is that the police officers took the time apparently to find out she had violated parole somehow but could not see that she was in urgent need of care. They are as culpable in her death as well. As I pointed out in the post this is a case of “corporate murder.” Several participated in it.

    Bobby Valentine

  8. Bruce Jacobson Says:

    As a caring doctor all i can say Bobby is Amen. God help us all.

  9. Justin Says:

    Does the lack of reasoning in the media make you wonder if there’s an agenda going on? It seems like that would be an important point of interest in the story. Even if they had said “the hospital says x, but the family of the deceased says y” it would be less questionable. Is the media hiding something important that doesn’t fit whatever agenda they have?

  10. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    Bruce how are things going up in the land of beer and cheese. Are going to be at WCYC this summer? I will miss being on staff with you.

    And I thank God for servant leaders like yourself … who happen to be MD’s.

    Thanks for reading and posting.

    Bobby Valentine

  11. James Says:

    As a congregation we’ve been spending some time in the minor prophets the last couple of weeks and once again we’re struck by the unfortunate parallels. Reading this just confirms that this world needs a few more people like Amos & Hosea…and quick. I can certainly tell from your post you’ve spent time with the Lord who led them and I must say, “Amen!”

  12. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    I often get responses to my blogs through email most of the time it stays between myself and my correspondent. But I want to share this one from one of my former Shepherds, Al Gray. Al is a wonderful man of God and I love him dearly. He and late wife Esther, were gracious in the extreme to us in Milwaukee.

    “I was very upset also when I first read about this death in the paper and now again even more upset when I read your writeup ~ you are right on with your account ~ our world is sick when things like this take place and we are not concerned because it wasn’t us that were directly involved.

    By the way I see 106 predicted for you today. I’m having trouble with our 88 degrees and hope you have a place to stay cool out there among the rocks, sand, and cactus. Have a great Father’s Day and be thankful for your children and a
    loving wife.


    Al thanks for the words of encouragement. I have no doubt we will hit that predicted high. Yesterday we hit 109 … I took my little telescope out last night around 10:30 and it was still 100 degrees.

    Snow is sounding pretty good right now, 🙂

    Bobby V

  13. Alan Says:

    Hi Bobby,

    As you well know, this is not a Christian nation. It should not be surprising that the people don’t act like Christ. Now, if Christians were to act like that, it would be quite another matter.

    Psalm 37:7-11
    7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
    do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.
    8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
    do not fret—it leads only to evil.
    9 For evil men will be cut off,
    but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.
    10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
    though you look for them, they will not be found.
    11 But the meek will inherit the land
    and enjoy great peace.

  14. Jay Says:

    Yes, Bobby, I think corporate murder is an accurate term. What becomes of love for the individual when peace becomes a “process” and care becomes a “system”?

  15. preacherman Says:

    Great post.
    I believe it is the reality of the poor and uninsured in America today. It is a lack of neglect that we see daily from those who are poor. We are the only democratic country that doesn’t provide free health care to its citizens.
    This also shows how people in our society view human life. She was in the ER. Other might have thought, “I’m not touching her she’s bleeding, who knows if she has AIDS.” Others, “It isn’t my responsibility it is the Dr.’s and nurses.” Other’s might have thought, “I don’t want to get
    The prayer that I pray is: “God please, please, heal this land.”

  16. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    Preacherman … God is in the business of “healing” the land. The wonder of redemption is that he is doing just that.

    Bobby Valentine

  17. john dobbs Says:

    excellent post, bobby … so needed is this clarion call to justice and care. I often feel so helpless … but I consider that if I lift someone’s load for just an hour or half a day … that’s more than they had before. There are so many hurting people all around us … this tears the heart.

  18. Falantedios Says:

    I think this problem goes deeper than the lack of socialized medicine in America. I fear that process will end up pushing our citizens to care even LESS for the poor.

    In the future when they can say, “Not MY problem. I paid my taxes,” how will people respond to injustice then?

    It reminds me a little bit of those brothers and sisters who expect their weekly contribution to ensure that all the widows and the sick and the lost of their community will be cared for and the good news preached unto them.

    Perhaps the solution will be the same to both. I don’t know. I just don’t TRUST Caesar, you know? If we want people cared for, we darn well better not wait around for the government to do it. Machines don’t really do a very good job of caring for eternal human lives.

    in HIS love,

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