Friday, December 31, 2010

Feds And State Officials Allowing Illegal Dumpings In Foreign Countries Of Disabled Undocumented Patients By U.S. Hospitals

Quelino Jimenez Ojeda


A New Year approaches as the feds and state officials continue to over look hospitals and their executive medical boards that decide to dump disabled patients in other countries without legal consent.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 31, 2010

Chicago, Illinois - On December 21, the executive board of the Advocate Christ Medical Center (ACMC) in Oak Lawn near Chicago decided to forcibily remove Quelino Jimenez Ojeda, 23, from the hospital care after five months of treatment for a spinal cord injury. Ojeda was taken out of the hospital by a private company hired by ACMC and put on a plane to Mexico, so ACMC could finally stop paying for his medical treatment. Ojeda became a quadriplegic as a result of a work related injuring. He was admitted to ACMC in August and on December 21, Ojeda was repatriated (deported) to Mexico because he was undocumented and happened to be admitted to ACMC.
The deportation was not done by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or any other federal agency, but a mere hospital group of people in the executive board of the ACMC.
Their reasoning, Ojeda's mother approved the removal, but now it was learned that she never authorized such removal. His former guardian and lawyer weren't even notified of Ojeda's departure.
So far, no federal or state investigation has been launched to see if ACMC and the private company they hired to removed him violated any federal laws and Ojeda's rights as a disabled person. Sure there was an expense to treat Ojeda, but what ever the cost ACMC could have write it off at the end of the year as a business donation, contribution, or expense in claiming tax deductions, if run as a private business. Even, if they were non-profit ACMC could have claimed it and sought grants and corporate contributions or placed Ojeda at an affordable care service provider where he could continue to get care at a lower cost.
Nevertheless, they took it upon themselves and deported Ojeda to a remote area in Oaxaca, Mexico where there is a less efficient hospital to provide him with an artificial respirator to keep him alive.
ACMC and the private firm that they hired and all those responsible who conspired to repatriate Ojeda should all be charged with federal felonies for kidnapping, civil rights violation, discrimination against disable patients, transporting an unwilling disable person to another country and dumping in a foreign soil among other would be charges.
It's about time the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department Homeland Security, U.S. Congress and President Barack H. Obama step up to the plate to enforce disabilities laws, transporting unwilling disabled patients to a foreign country and protect the disable patients whether legal or illegally in the U.S.
By ACMC decision to deport Ojeda back to Mexico in order to save costs, they have sentenced him to possible death without committing a capital offense.
In the 1940's, Adolf Hitler in Germany had a master plan for disabled people, by putting them in consentration camps and then gasing them as part of the final solution. It's a long shot from what Hitler adopted to compare the final solution with what is actually happening today to defenseless and disabled patients in U.S. hospitals.
Someone has to care and expose the issue nationally to ensure equal protection of the law to all the disabled patients and human beings in our mists. They're equally protected under the U.S. Constitution and disabilities laws that were created to protect people with disabilities. Then, why aren't they being enforced?, are lawsuits the only venue to get remedy? Why haven't hospitals paid the ultimate price by losing their licenses to operate for violating the rights of the disabled? It's time for the feds and state officials to charge those with criminal offenses who commit such violations against the disable patients.
However, ACMC did what some people (Chicago Latino community supporters for Ojeda) are alleging and calling an illegal act by deporting a defenseless disabled patient who was costing them profits in medical treatment.
There has been other cases as well of disabled patients being repatriated to foreign countries. One case in particular was Luis Alberto Jimenez, then 31, in Florida who became a quadriplegic with severe brain damage in a 2000 traffic accident. He was then deported on July 10, 2003 by the Martin Memorial Medical Center in Stuart to Guatemala. The hospital executive medical board argued that they had paid more than $1 million to treat Jimenez for three years, who was an undocumented patient. They decided to repatriate him to Guatemala for his own good by spending more than $30,000 to transport him in a chartered private jet.
In a lawsuit brought by his cousin Montejo Gasper, a jury found that the hospital had done the right thing to deport Jimenez back to his country. On appeal in 2009, the Florida state appeals judge overturned the case and ruled that state judges don't have the power to decide immigration cases and that Jimenez shouldn't have been sent back to Guatemala by Martin Memorial Medical Center. A tragic case.
U.S disabled patients throughout the country are facing the same treatment, discrimination and dumpings by hospitals trying to save their own profits and annual raises for capping costs. News reports from 2006 to date have exposed such illegal dumpings of U.S. Citizens by hospitals in Los Angeles, California, New York, and in other states whose executive medical boards decided to discharge and dump the elderly, disabled and homeless patients who lack insurance into skid row areas, streets and homeless shelters not equiped to handle such patients in order to cut costs.
This type of cases will follow in the New Year 2011, if Americans, the feds and President Obama just seat back and continue to let it happen.

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