No One Told Hillary

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by Reid Fitzsimons

Back sometime in the late 1990s, beginning on a Monday at 8am and ending at 8am the following day, I was scheduled as the medical officer on-call at the NY State facility for mentally retarded/developmentally disabled people where I worked from 1986 to 2001. The on-call person is the primary medical contact for his or her own caseloads along with the patients of other providers who happen to be off the schedule at the time, and for everyone after normal working hours. Soon after my shift began I received a page from one of the outlying residences. The concern was an elderly lady who had been ill onset the previous Friday evening and continuing to the present. Her presentation included recurrent vomiting of blood, poor to no intake of fluids and in general looking very sick. I told the direct care staff to bring her to our clinic immediately and it was obvious she was in extremis, requiring an acute care hospital and operating room, well beyond our clinic capabilities. I made the arrangements for transfer to the hospital and got her on her way with haste, but sadly she died later that day.

My inclination was to always treat the lower paid direct care workers with respect, but in this case, knowing the agony this innocent person suffered over the preceding weekend, I very pointedly inquired as to why they let her deteriorate and failed to contact the weekend on-call person. To my surprise they said, with some frustration, they in fact had made the call. I asked what the on-call physician told them, and they replied, “He said give her Mylanta.” Though I don’t specifically recall the cause of death in this case, it was probably complications of hemorrhagic erosive esophagitis, the sometimes fatal end of the spectrum that begins with what is commonly called heartburn or reflux, and not uncommon in our patient population. At some point this patient was perhaps salvageable and, if seen and properly treated, her suffering certainly could have been diminished.

I admit I was angry, despite the fact that the on-call physician who ignored this patient was a friend of mine, someone likable if not respectable- this was not the first such incident involving him. The next time I ran into him was somewhat confrontational. When asked why he didn’t bother to see this patient when notified of her severe situation, his reply was both incredulous and despicable: “No one told me I had to see her.” In an obtuse way this was superficially true, and if the low-wage direct care aide had specifically said, “You have to see her” he might well have done so. The thing is, physicians are among the highest compensated employees in the NY State civil service in addition to having a moral obligation based upon their licenses and place in society- the on-call medical officer is the controlling authority in such circumstances. They don’t wait to be told to do the right thing, they decide on their own initiative to do the right thing. Unfortunately the character of this physician is not particularly uncommon in the world of bureaucratic/governmental medical practice- perfectly content to receive a high salary and status but not terribly concerned with patient care. He was very pliable as far as the administration went, and likewise they valued his pliability and medical license more than patient outcomes. I could easily imagine some deputy director, if called upon to defend his negligence, saying, “Well, no one actually told him he had to see the patient.” That was the end of our friendship, with no regrets.

17 or so years later the recollection of this incident seems pertinent when contemplating this debauchery that is Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal. The ingredients are all there: a mix of arrogance, dishonesty, unwillingness to live up to obligations, absence of a moral foundation and, to large degree, nothing more grandiose than laziness. It is in her most persistent justification we find her greatest sociopathy and contempt- “no one told me they were classified.”

2 thoughts on “No One Told Hillary

  1. worth worden

    with respect to the article '' no one told hillary'' it happened just as Reid said. I was there and it did have the same similarity the lack of concern for another human being as well many other despicable subhuman traits.

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  2. Carole Ann Milljour

    It is surprising to me how people can feel no responsibility for their actions. Why is it always left for someone else to deal with when in fact, if the negligent party assumed the responsibility of their position in the first place, things would run smoothly and better for all involved. To watch a patient suffer until the near end when it gets to the point that another has to be notified and called in is inconceivable. How does that happen? If we are not responsible for our own actions, then who is? The blame game goes on and bad things happen to good people in the process. I shutter to think that just maybe someday, when the neglectful are in need, who they will call and trust to bail them out? Certainly no one they know. It's the old saying, birds of a feather, flock together. Thank God for those who care and step in where others fail to bother. In politics as in all aspects of life, someone has to be there, someone you can count on that counts on you. Someone to protect the innocent and unborn. To defend this country and take the necessary responsibility to ensure our freedom is intact. Hillary is not the type of person I could ever trust with anything outside of her own well-being and glorification; smile on Hilary, that's about all you are qualified for. Her health care proposals, when given the opportunity years ago, were a waste of time and money. Her status as Secretary of State was a farce. She could do a lot more damage if given the opportunity. Let's hope she isn't! God Bless America, land of the free and home of the brave!

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