December 4, 2004

I Dip My Toe In the Roiled Waters of Race Relations

The LA Times published an exposé on King/Drew Hospital, originally built as a sop to LA's blacks after the riots. Apparently, it's something of a charnel house:
King/Drew, a 233-bed public hospital in Willowbrook, just south of Watts, had a long history of harming, or even killing, those it was meant to serve.

Over the last year, reports by journalists and regulators have offered stark glimpses of failings at King/Drew: Nurses neglecting patients as they lay dying. Staff failing to give patients crucial drugs or giving them toxic ones by mistake. Guards using Taser stun guns on psychiatric patients, despite an earlier warning to stop.

Over the same period, a team of Times reporters has been systematically examining the hospital. They conducted hundreds of interviews, studied years of malpractice cases and reviewed records of the hospital and its regulators. They looked closely at individual departments and physicians. And, to put their findings in perspective, they consulted outside experts in hospitals and medical care.

The investigation reveals that King/Drew is much more dangerous than the public has been told.

The story's flawed in that most of it is anecdotal, the anecdotes being heart-rending. There really aren't any statistics and there's no explanation of what's going on.

The story also focuses on the protests of many "activists" including Rep. Maxine Waters, at the closing of the trauma center at King-Drew.

My question--where's the indignation about the incompetence of the management that's supposed to serve?

Where's the indignation, for that matter, about the corruption and mismanagement in black-run institutions, such as the City of Compton and the Compton School District, whose victims are ordinary people?

And if Rep. Waters needed surgery, would she choose King/Drew, or Walter Reed in D.C. or Cedars-Sinai in L.A.?

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