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This is the city. This is the hospital. Tasers at the ready…

August 14, 2007

Daystar51 coined the term, “cultural algorithm,” at least as far as I know; I have never seen it before elsewhere. I’m a Westerner: I subscribe to an ethos of individual accountability and market-driven economics–things that are passé, but nevertheless valid.

Ruben and I were bantering the other day about the way medical care has seeped out of the market-driven economy and into the political sphere. Medicine is political because it now has its own base of power and the means to enforce its power. Corporate medicine has seized, or somehow acquired through increasingly socialistic legislation (though politicians are loathe to acknowledge this), the same level of corruptible power formerly exclusive to the sovereign political sphere. This includes, but may not be limited to, detention and being Tasered.

Allan sent me this article. I’m an intuitive lawyer and public health services evaluator. I haven’t practiced either profession in years, but I still carry the battle scars and diplomas. When I read this article, I immediately found so many issues that it was hard to sort them. It was like a bad Bar exam question. The assignment is: identify the issue, come up with the rule of law that applies, apply the rule, and come to some rational conclusion. This scenario has too many issues, too few rules, cultural negation of all possible applications, and a conclusion that has been confounded by feminism and corporate fascism. There. Right under the bell.

The article concerns a man and wife and a baby and a hospital in Houston. Houston happens to be one of my many erstwhile home towns; in fact, it is where I received my master’s degree in health sciences. So the red lights are flashing in my brain because the cop in the picture is aiming a Taser in a hospital. But this is Houston, and this probably happens all the time, and with good reason.

But it turns out that the man and wife are the parents of a new baby born in Texas Women’s Hospital. They were not happy with the way they were treated and they wanted to leave with their baby. They were told they could not leave the hospital with their baby. They could not leave the hospital because the doctor would not permit it.

What? Because he said so, that’s why. Nothing is said about any condition in the newborn that made further hospitalization necessary. No, “Sorry, folks, but we can’t take responsibility if you decide to leave our fine hospital…” It was “You are not permitted to leave.” So the new dad defies the direct order of the doctor, who evidently has ties to Homeland Security Medicine, and takes his baby and attempts to leave.

But the new dad is a testy sort. He raises his voice. He even swears. This will not do in a hospital in a feminized culture. His voice and his words betray anger, and anger is very dangerous. Anger must be stopped before someone gets hurt. So the hospital staff called Security, and the nice officer in the picture is an off-duty policeman moonlighting as a hospital security guy. He Tasers the dad, causing the dad to fall back and drop the baby, who lands on her head.

A Florida criminologist said “any moron” would have known that Tasering an adult holding an infant would result in the adult dropping the infant. But this wasn’t any moron; this was a Houston police officer serving the security needs of a hospital, which someone not a moron might assume would include reducing the likelihood of injury to persons in said hospital.

But the infant apparently has some symptoms possibly consistent with a head injury, so it is not very clear that no one was injured.

Nor is it clear that people using corporate medical services are consumers. What is clear is that they are victims. Their right to leave a corporate medical facility without meeting physical force is unsettled.

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3 Comments
  1. scribbles2day permalink
    August 14, 2007 10:23 pm

    The hospital has become the victim and is protecting itself at our expense.

    If we were not victims before, we are now with these empowered renegade state nannies. We are fast approaching liberal utopia; all we need now for the uniformed public servants are swasticas, at least for corporate security. Heil!

  2. Ruben permalink
    August 15, 2007 8:55 am

    Telling someone they can’t leave the hospital seems like a good way to guarantee that they will be mad: tasering them seems like a good way to guarantee that they will be hopping mad when they come around.

    But I have an idea: if we just taser the baby, then the parents can be free to leave.

  3. nancy permalink
    August 27, 2007 8:18 pm

    Taser a father holding a newborn? The off-duty cop/security guard is the abuser. Hold the newborn and her parents without medical cause against their wills? The Houston Texas Women’s hospital is the abuser. Steal the baby from her parents because she tasered and dropped on her head? CPS is the abuser. Swear up and down to protect their asses that the newborn isn’t having seizeres and other related issues from the abuse she suffered because of those power-happy idiots? And we’re supposed to believe that the cop, the hospital and CPS all acted in this poor baby’s best interests???

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