Thursday, January 27, 2011

Did AeroCare And Advocate Christ Hospital Falsified Information To Acquire Mexican Government Documents To Deport Quadriplegic Patient?

Quelino Jimenez Ojeda at Advocate Christ Medical Center

Community activists alleged both AeroCare and Advocate Christ Hospital executives conspired to provide false information to acquire documents to deport quadriplegic patient in December.

By H. Nelson Goodson
January 27, 2011

Chicago, Illinois - New allegations that Advocate Christ Medical Center (ACMC) in Oak Lawn and AeroCare in Illinios had conspired to provide false information to the Mexican government in order to acquire documents to illegally deport quadriplegic patient Quelino Jimenez Ojeda, 23, in December. The allegations were raised by several members of the Mexican community in Chicago who did not want to be identified after attempts failed to get information about Ojedas abruptly departure from ACMC. They say Advocate Christ Medical Center Spokesperson Kelly Jo Golson has failed to provide any information citing privacy policy about who authorized Ojedas private corporate deportation to Mexico and who provided the legal Mexican government documents needed to transport Ojeda by AeroCare into Mexico. Neither, Advocate Christ Medical Center or AeroCare, the private company contracted by the hospital to transport Ojeda via airplane from Chicago to Oaxaca, Mexico have cooperated with a group of community activists and members from LULAC questioning the deportation.
Ojeda who has a young daughter remains at the Tuxtepec Maria Lombardo Hospital in Oaxaca and his mother has to pay for the medicine, according to friends. The Mexican government is trying to get funding for his care.
Ojeda's Chicago Attorney James Geraghty admitted that he wasn't informed that his client was being discharged and transported to Mexico. Garaghty was expected to file a lawsuit against ACMC in behave of Ojeda, but last week was replaced by another attorney on Ojedas family request, according to Garaghty's secretary in Chicago.
Hospital officials had claimed that Ojeda's mother had authorized the discharged and transport of Ojeda to Mexico. It was later learned, Ojeda's mother never authorized his discharge or move. ACMC is having difficulty trying to track down who actually talked to Ojedas family for authorization.
Officials at the Mexican Consulate in Chicago have confirmed that ACMC or AeroCare never officially consulted the Consulate on Ojeda's move. The ACMC would had to provide documents Ojeda was from Mexico and had agreed to go back to Mexico, which officials at the Consulate admitted ACMC provided none and didn't notified them. 
If officials at the Consulate in Chicago are saying they didn't provide the legal documents and paper work to allow Ojeda to return to Mexico, then who did? The Secretary of Foreign Exterior Relations (SRE) in Mexico is investigating, if any Mexican laws were broken by Mexican Consulate workers in the U.S. or Mexico in providing unauthorized documents to ACMC and AeroCare.
Jesus Vargas, a community activist from Chicago had petition the SRE in Mexico to investigate the government entity or Mexican Consulate that provided the documents needed for Ojeda to be allowed into Mexico. Patricia Espinosa Calletano from the SRE has confirmed, the SRE has launch an investigation into the Ojeda case to find out who authorized the documents that allowed Advocate Hospital and AeroCare to transport Ojeda to Oaxaca.
So far, no U.S. federal or state investigation has been petitioned or launched to see, if ACMC and AeroCare violated any federal laws and Ojeda's rights as a disabled person.
On December 21, the executive ACMC board decided to forcibily remove Ojeda from hospital care after five months of treatment for a spinal cord injury. Ojeda was taken out of the hospital by AeroCare personnel hired by ACMC and put Ojeda 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 injury in Chicago.
He lived in Atlanta Georgia and is originally from Oaxaca, Mexico. In August, Ojeda had been working for an Atlanta based roofing company in the Chicago area when he was injured. He apparently fell to the ground from a ladder located on the fourth floor damaging his spinal cord when he cracked his neck on the fall and became a quadriplegic requiring the use of an artificial respirator to keep him alive.
In a press release issued in December by a group that exposed and protested ACMC's decision to repatriate (deport) Ojeda, Horacio Esparza Executive Director of Progress Center For Independent Living, which advocates for people with disabilities stated, ”Christ Hospital repatriated this patient back to rural Mexico where he will be unable to receive proper medical care for his condition. The hospital acted with out any humanity and violated all medical ethics to save lives.” Esparza is legally blind.
Jesus Vargas of the March 10th Coalition said, ”We wil pray for the respect and dignity of are immigrant brothers that suffer accidents that leave them crippled for life.”
Marlene Cruz a 20 year old Hispanic American whose family helped with the care of Quelino stated, “I use to think that Christ hospital was a good place-- but now after what they have done to Quelino-- I feel outraged that this hospital would do something to a person just for not having papers.”
Julie Contreras, LULAC National Immigrant Affairs Commission stated, ”While the President, Senate and Congress of this nation allow the immigration laws to remain broken—human beings who come to this country to work hard for a better life become disposable waste for Corporations like Advocate Health & Hospitals.”
U.S. hospitals who receive Medicare reimbursements must provide emergency care to a patient until they're stabilized and a plan for discharge is filed, under federal law.

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