Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hospitals, round two

Remember the post about how badly some friends of mine were treated in the emergency room at a local hospital? Remember how we met with the CEO of that hospital and he was really good, promising to do some training and education for his staff and exacting some measure of discomfort upon the staffers who screwed up so badly? Well, this morning we go to meet the CEO of the other hospital, the one that oversees the clinic where the PA works who originally shared with the ER doc that my friend was a lesbian.

Only one of my friends is able to make the appointment - the other has to work - so we will be attending together, with me in a supportive role. But I'll be taking notes as well. I like to do that. It makes people nervous about where their words might show up. Good. This guy has reason to worry. What happened at his institution was horrible, and he should be worried. If lawyers get involved, it could get very expensive. I don't think my friends want to do that, although I know that some lawyer-ish people have contacted them. I don't see this as being about money or retribution, I see this as being about getting it right and making sure nobody treats people like this again.

But I think the turning point in that decision-making process is today. It may not be fair to administer a hidden test to the CEO, but that is what will happen. If my friend is satisfied, even hopeful at the end of today's meeting, chances are good she'll tell the lawyers no thanks. But if something goes badly, odds are she'll be inclined to loose the hounds, as it were. I hope it goes well. This is the kind of thing that once it begins to go badly, will only continue to do so for a very long time. It rarely turns around and gets good. Resentments linger here, and a nasty confrontation will be remembered for years, decades even; by the same measure, a cooperative effort at progress will be remembered as well. Somehow, though, the good thing is always vulnerable to going bad, but the bad thing never seems to be at risk of becoming good.

So today we go forward tentatively, hoping things go well and making a good effort to be a part of the solution. Think kind thoughts in our direction, world. We're going to need all the energy and support we can get.


1138 said...

At your side.

MRMacrum said...

Yeah, what 1138 said. Sounds like you are approaching this with some sense. hopefully the hospital CEO will also. If he shows up with a lawyer, you might consider turning around and leaving.