By: Dr. Bharani Padmanabhan – January, 2014
In Boston a young woman was murdered recently. The murderer had previously attacked another but hadn’t been arrested, even though he dropped his wallet at the scene and the poor victim had described him. The death of Amy Lord thus was an undeniably preventable murder that should have been prevented by people we pay a salary + pension to do just so. Applying this principle, Police Commissioner Ed Davis immediately demoted the detective who should have arrested the soon-to-be murderer but did not. Commissioner Davis aligned his sense of right & wrong with that of the common people and made the police accountable to taxpayers, who work hard and fund the salaries of those in Government. Applying this principle to the institutionally-corrupt Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS = DPH + DMH + Board of Medicine + DCF) we see Commissioner Ed Davis is not this State’s role model.
Boston’s hospitals are politically powerful. Enforcing the rule of law on them is a laughable concept. Hospital trustees are the local elite who fund politicians, thereby purchasing total impunity for their hospitals. Police Detective Tim Braun who caught Charles Cullen, RN for 400+ murders, proved the hospital actively obstructed the police. That is what hospitals do. A powerful law called Section 187 (MGL Ch. 149) is specifically designed to protect the common people from uncaring hospitals. Which is why it sits, forlorn and unloved, the unwanted stepchild, exactly like anti-corruption laws in Third World countries. Section 187 also requires that a sign be prominently posted throughout hospitals to inform employees about this law. This has never been enforced by Attorney General Martha Coakley or by EOHHS.
It is impossible to even imagine that AG Coakley would use this law to hold hospitals accountable to defenseless folks dependent on the State for protection. She never has, never will. It requires State officials to actually care enough about the little people to go against politically powerful hospitals. It requires intact morals and a spine. I brought this to her attention a year ago, to damning silence. Her studied refusal to prosecute is deliberate.
If this law were applied even once, us little people would see fear finally force Chief Medical Officers like Gerry Steinberg to actually care. The recent preventable death at Arbour Hospital proves this. A caring physician, Dr. Sheldon Schwartz, risked his license to tell the Government that there were not enough internists to perform proper medical evaluations of patients admitted to Arbour. Patients with mental illness in need of inpatient treatment do not leave their other grave illnesses at the door, such as HIV, post-transplant complications, anticoagulation for stroke/heart attacks, insulin-dependent diabetes and sleep apnea. These need to be seriously managed as well, by internists. Dr. Schwartz, who fully meets Eyal Press’ definition of a Beautiful Soul, repeatedly warned 2 EOHHS Departments – Mental Health and Public Health. EOHHS did not care. A patient, Lori Ann Durant, died exactly as predicted by Dr. Schwartz.
Dr Schwartz is being persecuted by Arbour who retaliated against him for contacting EOHHS and perniciously filed false charges against him at EOHHS’ Board of Registration in Medicine even though he left Arbour months before this patient died. This Board threat is a clear SLAPP* to crush him before the dead patient’s family files a lawsuit against Arbour. Facilitating hospital retaliation is the main function of EOHHS’ Board of Medicine and it’s website consciously tramples the US Constitution & 130 years of case law as Counsel Emily Rathbone knows. That is “the Boston system.” Crony capitalism, just like India and Russia. *(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_lawsuit_against_public_participation)
Retaliation against public health whistleblowers has a chequered history within Boston’s hospitals. Precisely why Section 187 exists, to remove from medical professionals any fear of losing their job & license when they raise concerns about public safety and cover them with a cloak of governmental protection. Progressives who care about public safety should vociferously question AG Coakley as to why she ignores this law, and how many more Lori Anns must die.
R. Allen Stanford crushed Leyla Wydler, another Beautiful Soul, using NASD (now FINRA), the board policing the license of finance people. Wydler too reported fraud to regulators and they crushed her instead too. Her Senate testimony is a must-read. There is zero difference between the persecution of Wydler by her former employer using the power of NASD and the persecution of Dr Schwartz by his former employer using the power of EOHHS’ Board of Medicine.
After Enron, employees of finance firms came under the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) statute’s protection, for the nation’s good. After public outrage SEC bigwigs received tongue-lashings during the Madoff hearings. For 10 years the SEC suppressed warnings from fraud examiner Harry Markopolos. Harry published a book called “No one would listen.” Dr Schwartz should too. All finance people are aware of SOX now whereas no doctor in Boston’s hospitals has heard of the pro-consumer law called Section 187.
Boston’s politically-protected hospitals rejoice in the knowledge that they face no threat at all of prosecution by AG Coakley under Section 187 (how much have they paid her?), an undeniably classic case of Regulatory Capture, which thus allows hospitals to destroy with total impunity Beautiful Souls who care about the people of this Progressive state which then serves as a clear warning to other physicians to toe the hospital’s line or be driven out of medicine itself by EOHHS’ own hit-men such as James Paikos, exactly as NASD crushed Wydler. That is “the Boston system.”
The Globe’s article “Frustration on all fronts” (Sun. 12/15/13) documents the impossibility of an ordinary family overcoming Massachusetts’ “deference towards a hospital.” – “They took their complaints to every authority they could think of: the District Attorney, the Attorney General, the Governor’s office, even the FBI. They alleged that Children’s was using its considerable muscle to box them out at every turn.” – This family wouldn’t have fared any better in Sicily seeking redress from the Mafia. “Deference to hospitals,” the local euphemism for Regulatory Capture, consciously violates the 14th Amendment and confirms the total abdication of state government. The parents’ human rights are also crushed by the collusive captured state government’s conscious violation of Article 23 of the ICCPR (Art. 16 in the Universal Declaration), an article fostered by Eleanor Roosevelt herself, ratified by Congress without reservations and given the force of law by President Bush’s signature.
“What was it drove our forefathers to this country? Was it not the ecclesiastical corporations and perpetual monopolies of England and Scotland? Shall we suffer the same evils to exist in this country?” – James Jackson (1757-1806)
What is entirely unacceptable is to have our tax-dollars wasted on public servants who do not care about the public good. These include the leadership of EOHHS, conscious parties to regulatory fraud, who gave Arbour 3-days notice of a “spot check” and ignored the spot-on warnings of Dr. Schwartz, which naturally led to the entirely preventable death of Lori Ann Durant. I wonder how much EOHHS regulators pocketed from Arbour to ignore Dr. Schwartz, persecute him through the Board and make that 30% profit happen.
If Ed Davis, a man of the people, were Attorney General, us little people would have real hope of seeing heads roll at the institutionally-corrupt EOHHS, which now claims $15 BILLION a year is not enough! A public adversarial Knapp-level Commission is essential after Annie Dookhan, 64 meningitis deaths, Arbour and the 5yo Fitchburg boy heartlessly betrayed by EOHHS whose leaders such as JudyAnn Bigby are also criminally and civilly liable individually for the false imprisonment of hundreds of people. They know it too and homesteaded their houses recently. Unlike Wall Street executives, these we can send to prison soon and should.
Unfortunately, we have only Martha Coakley. We cannot expect better. She will not save heroes like Dr. Schwartz. Regulatory Capture (“deference to hospitals”), violations of the US Constitution, preventable deaths and 30% profits shall continue. Expecting Massachusetts to hold hospitals accountable is like expecting certain states to hold mining firms accountable or the military holding itself accountable for the preventable murder of Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach.
One hope for the future is Progressive activists confronting “the Boston system” head on just as ACT UP confronted the taxpayer-funded NIH and saved thousands of people that NIH, like EOHHS, was happy to let die. The other is direct monitoring of EOHHS by Congress or Federal Judge Wolf to save the people (incl. parents visiting across state lines – interstate commerce) given the abdication of the State Attorney General and the utter failure of State government. We need to put EOHHS into receivership just like Chelsea but Federal this time as willfully-blind State legislators who even exempted hospitals from new pharmacy rules prompted by the 64 meningitis deaths clearly do not care. The common people desperately need saving from State predators.