Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Grinch Before Christmas

As Christmas draws near, I really wanted to offer a more positive message than the one I'm about to present. Nevertheless, consider this my Christmas offering. Perhaps you've heard about the story below: A woman dies because two EMTs were on break, and didn't wish to be bothered. Or so it seems. Here are more details:

A pregnant Brooklyn woman suffering a fatal seizure in a coffee shop in the shadow of FDNY Headquarters was ignored by two callous city medics who continued to buy their breakfast, eyewitnesses told The Post.

"The EMTs just said we had to call 911. They got their bagels and left," said a disgusted worker.

Frantic employees at the Au Bon Pain at 1 Metrotech Center approached the FDNY medics at 9 a.m. on Dec. 9, shortly after colleague Eutisha Revee Rennix, 25, began to complain of shortness of breath and intense stomach pains. Workers immediately dialed 911.

NO HELP: Witnesses say that as Eutisha Revee Rennix (above) lay dying at a Brooklyn Au Bon Pain 600 feet from FDNY headquarters, two EMTs on break refused to assist her, leaving son Jahleel, 3, motherless.
"People were calling out saying, 'She's turning blue! She's pregnant!' " said the witness.

But the EMTs appeared unfazed.

"I remember them saying they couldn't do anything because they were on their break," another worker said. "We started screaming and cursing at them."
Read more.

We've seen callous people before, individuals refusing to aid others in dire straits because of indifference, but those people haven't been EMTs. We don't expect to see this kind of behavior from medics trained to save lives, and whose lives are devoted to doing just that.

We expect this callousness more from our politicians. You know the ones I'm talking about: Republicans and Blue Dog democrats out to defeat, or substantially modify, a bill designed to save the lives of 30 to 40 millions Americans each year by reforming Health Care in this country. Next to these politicians, the EMTs personify the milk of human kindness, and are elevated to sainthood.

One Democrat, Ben Nelson, didn't sign on to the bill until his state could realize a sizable benefit to the tune of about a hundred million dollars, striking a Medicaid deal for his state. Holding health care reform hostage by seeking special favor for your state is not only callous, but pits one group of Americans against others who feel left out when one state enjoys an advantage that others don't.

Further, allowing other Americans to be forced into bankruptcy who do have health insurance, but have been dropped because of a catastrophic illness, or a pre-existing condition, is equally callous. But that doesn't seem to bother Republicans. The whole lot of them should have packed their bags and moved back to their states and their districts when Barack Obama moved himself and his family into the White House. The amount of real work they've accomplished as senators and district representative is not enough to warrant a paycheck.

During the month of December, we celebrate the birth of Jesus. We set aside December 25 as his birthday, although the actual date of his birth is lost to history. During his life, Jesus championed the poor, the defenseless, and the sick. Were we more spiritual than worldly, we'd have no need of Universal Health Care, or a Public Health Care Plan to keep health care costs under control. Further, had the EMTs practiced the Golden Rule that Jesus touted, the mother of the 3-year-old boy may be alive today, and the boy not orphaned.

Jesus charged his disciples thusly: "That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

Republicans and some Democrats are fond of calling us a Christian nation, although there's a constitutional provision calling for the separation of church and state. What an ensample of Christian charity we are as a nation that we show our love, and our Christian discipleship by ignoring the health plight of millions of our fellow citizens. Some conservatives will argue that it's not the role of government to provide health care for its citizenry, but should be the role of charities. And when charities fail, are we not charitably required to use the people's power to address an insufficiency? Is it more charitable to rest on principle, and a conservative ideology, when the needs of many may be addressed effectively by throwing the weight of government behind them?

When should our political ideology replace our conscience, our duty to God, and to our fellowman and woman?

We saw the birth of love upon this plane, although it came forth out of a lowly place, a stable, and was wrapped in swaddling cloth, and placed in a manger. That love, unnurtured, may remain indefinitely in that natal state, or we can, if we choose, remove the swaddling cloth, set it free to grow, and allow it to be elevated to that of King over ourselves and our world. The choice is ours.

Merry Christmas, One and All.


Ernesto said...

These two would make EXCELLENT insurance company executives.

Black Diaspora said...

I agree, Ernesto. :) They're in the wrong profession. Dentistry would suit them, too.

Blinders Off said...

Merry Christmas BD

Black Diaspora said...

Thank you, Blinders Off. May the warmth of the season wrap you in Joy, Peace, and Goodwill toward All.

c.c.-kathy said...

Black Diaspora,
So good to hear from you, I didn't know you had posted this. I still can't believe the EMT workers would do that, I just can't believe it! I keep thinking that they must be some other type worker, it just seems incredible, I hope there are video cameras where it can be proven so that they lose their license, I also wonder if there would be criminal charges against them? I sure hope so.

Also, you wrote about the Republicans work this year:
"The amount of real work they've accomplished as senators and district representative is not enough to warrant a paycheck."

So True! How can they be paid to work against our best interests?

Black Diaspora, hope you have a beautiful, peace filled holiday.

Ernesto said...

"So True! How can they be paid to work against our best interests?"

The sad part is that they are being paid to work against our best interests by their sponsors. If they had any soul at all they would at least return our (taxpayer) money. But of course, they don't. And they have the gall to stand in the Senate chambers and rail against "government run healthcare" while they have a taxpayer-funded doctor standing by 24/7 right there in the Senate!
So if they get gas pains or their tongue's get sore while preaching about the wonders of the free market versus "socialiazed medecine", this government-subsidized doctor can treat them 24/7. Isn't it amazing that we put up with this stuff?

Black Diaspora said...

@kath: "I also wonder if there would be criminal charges against them? I sure hope so."

kathy, I believe they're on administrative leave, or some such thing.

We'll just have to wait and see if they'll be charged with anything. It's tantamount to watching someone bleed to death while chomping on your bagel.

I don't think my analogy is hyperbolic: These medics refused to get involved, and spoil their break.

@Ernesto: "Isn't it amazing that we put up with this stuff?"

We're tolerant to a flaw. And I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

OT ,

But wanted you to be aware that according to L.A. Times today 12-28-09, the FBI has been asked to investigate the case of missing Mitrice Richardson.

"U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) has asked the FBI to look into the disappearance of Mitrice Richardson and the circumstances of her arrest and release from sheriff’s custody."

Black Diaspora said...

That's great news! I'll search for the story. Thanks for passing it on.

c.c.-kathy said...

Wow, that is great news about Mitrice, I am so happy to hear that the FBI has been asked to get involved, although I wish it had been sooner.
Thank you Anonymous.

Black Diaspora, I heard the two emt's were dating each other and that one of them called 911. Don't know if that is true or not, just something I heard.

Anonymous said...

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