Author Topic: What Have We Become?  (Read 957 times)

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Offline ozgeorge

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What Have We Become?
« on: July 14, 2006, 06:57:48 AM »
OK, it’s official…the world has gone mad.
Today I went to visit the 7 week old child of my friends in a public hospital. Little Olivia has two problems. Firstly, she had a problem with her stomach in that one of it’s valves was not closing properly, and she required surgery, and second, she contracted a highly contagious respiratory virus, and so has to be nursed in an isolation room, and her mother cannot leave the room. After donning gowns, gloves, mask and cap, I was permitted into the room. Soon after, a nurse came in to remove Olivia’s sutures, and I was permitted to stay. The nurse opened a sterile suture removal pack which contained a surgical steel pair of artery forceps, a surgical steel stitch cutter, and two surgical steel forceps. After removing the sutures, the nurse bundled up the instruments and threw them away into the contaminated waste bag in the room (which also contained Olivia’s used disposable diapers). Thinking the nurse had made a mistake, I asked her if she had meant to throw the instruments into the garbage, and she replied that it was actually cheaper for the hospital to dispose of these surgical steel instruments rather than sterilize them! While I was still marveling at this Olivia’s father asked Olivia’s mother what she wanted for lunch, and she gave him her order for a takeaway food shop near the hospital. I laughed and said that the hospital food must really be terrible, but my laughter soon stopped when they told me that Olivia’s breastfeeding mother who had not left Olivia’s isolation room for  8 days was not provided meals by the hospital because Olivia is the patient and not her mother! Her husband, who works full time, has to bring her all her meals from outside the hospital!
So surgical steel precision instruments are thrown out after one use, but a breastfeeding mother is allowed to go hungry because “she’s not our responsibility, her child is”.
What have we become? How can we still be asking the question in "civilized" society: "Am I my brother's keeper?"
How can we value one another so little? How can we harden our hearts to the bureaucratic point were we can deny food to a breastfeeding mother?
Stop the world; I want to get off…..
« Last Edit: July 14, 2006, 08:18:51 AM by ozgeorge »
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Offline Thomas

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Re: What Have We Become?
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2006, 08:16:04 AM »
Working in a hospital as I do. Sounds like a normal situation.ÂÂ  Much like straining the gnats. Medical systems are so busy "saving money" that their costs are rising. They eliminate the small costs (feeding a breast feeding mother) and increase charges wherever they can. They have loss their compassion for others.

Thomas
« Last Edit: July 16, 2006, 05:31:59 PM by Thomas »
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: What Have We Become?
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2006, 08:20:54 AM »
Working in a hospital as I do. Sounds like a normal situation.
That's what horrifies me- the fact that we've "normalized" it.
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Offline FrChris

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Re: What Have We Become?
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2006, 09:17:14 AM »
That's what horrifies me- the fact that we've "normalized" it.

Parts of our society may have "normalized" it---but this does not mean that you or I or others have to.

This is yet another example of the need for the Church's Holy Mission: to return Creation to its pre-Fallen state. We express the purpose of the Church with our liturgical movements in the Divine Liturgy (we take products from God that we have improved through our craftsmanship {i.e., we make bread and wine from wheat and grapes}; give it to God out of our love for Him; in answer to our prayers He improves it to the greatest potential anything can be, and then shares it with us from His love for us).

So, I guess we have to keep our eyes open for things like this in our daily life, and be constantly aware.

Thanks for the initial post.
"As the sparrow flees from a hawk, so the man seeking humility flees from an argument". St John Climacus

Offline Dismus

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Re: What Have We Become?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2006, 09:08:48 AM »
The only positive thing I can say about something this offensive is to look at what to be thankful for in hospitals -- Priests and religious that are there with the purpose of visiting the sick and praying for them! I know that does not feed the breastfeeding mother literally when she is hungry, but it has been my experience that (at least the hospitals I have been in) that you may ask to see a priest or religious at any time and they will make a great effort to see you as soon as they can.
Thank God for his servants that embrace this ministry!
It is sometimes the only real comfort that one can get to go through such a stay.
My prayers to that woman and her family.

Offline admiralnick

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Re: What Have We Become?
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2006, 09:14:39 AM »
We also have to unfortunately remember that a hospital regardless of non-profit status is still a business and the goal of any business is to cut costs. So... Even a place dedicated to healing and recovery will do anything and everything in their power to cut costs in any way shape or form. It's the way that the world has become. As people get higher and higher levels of education, they demand more money and with more money comes better things and it becomes a downward sprial...


-Nick
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