We’ve probably all heard the story of Edith Isabel Rodriguez, who died in a Los Angeles emergency room after being refused treatment. Concerned people on the scene called 911, and were told there was nothing cops or paramedics can do, since she was already in a hospital. Hospital personnel stepped over her while she was on the floor, writhing in pain. A janitor mopped around her, to clean up the blood which came from her body. Concerned individuals who tried to bring the woman’s condition to the attention of hospital personnel were told that it was not blood coming from her mouth, but chocolate.
The woman, unfortunately, died.
The part of this story being left out of most news accounts, however, is that the hospital called the cops to have her removed from the premises.
When cops arrived, they picked her up off the floor, blood coming from her mouth, and arrested her for a probation violation.
What the hell?
Cops were transporting her to jail when her heart stopped. They returned her to the hospital, but by then it was too late, and she died. She had suffered a perforated bowel sometime within 24 hours after arriving at the hospital. Had she been seen when she had first arrived at the hospital hours before, she probably would have survived.
The problem here lies not just with the hospital, but with the cops. The cops should have demanded that she be seen before they transported her. After all, it’s not rocket science that somone is probably dying when they’re in that kind of condition.
A number of hospital employees have been fired and reported to licensing authorities, and the state has taken steps to close down the hospital since she’s not the only person who appeared there deathly ill and was refused treatment. A murder investigation has also been opened.
As far as I can tell, though, no action has been taken against the cops on the scene, despite their undeniable responsibility to intervene on the woman’s behalf.