Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Hospital and The Hypocritical Undersheriff

For the "start of the story", visit the Jon Massey Caset.

On Friday, February 28, 2014, Jon Massey apparently ingested cyanide sometime after hearing a guilty verdict.

His best friend, my daughter, and I were in the courtroom as support people. We didn't see him put anything in his mouth. We did see him openhandedly pick up a glass of water and drink, but he never put anything in the glass or his mouth. Trust me, we were watching, because we knew about his suicidality and we didn't want to anything to happen to him.

What we did see was the bailiff walk over to Jon and ask him what he had in his pockets. Jon showed him some cash (for the jail commissary), his reading glasses, and a comb. The bailiff pulled out his handcuffs (standard courtroom procedure), but the judge waived him off and told him it wasn't necessary. The bailiff escorted Jon through a door in the back of the courtroom. That was the last any of us saw of Jon in a conscious state.

I stayed behind to ask the judge where to take Jon's medications, as the last time he was in prison (upon his initial arrest) the prison didn't have a correct list of his medications and weren't able to obtain some of them. I was directed to take them to the prison, about 10 minutes away.

I went down and dropped them off, and on the way back learned from the news that Jon had been rushed to the hospital. No phone call to me, no phone call to his sister or mother, we heard it from the news. Apparently people from the DA's office and the Sheriff's Department continued to report to the local news sources throughout the weekend and ultimately reported his death. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this appears to be a HIPAA violation.

Additionally, from what we were told by the staff at Samaritan Medical Center (who were compassionate and caring with one exception) - Jon collapsed at the loading dock and was rushed to the hospital WITHOUT ANY IDENTIFYING PAPERWORK. It took Samaritan over 20 minutes to get a positive ID on Jon so that they could access his information in the system. The Sheriff's deputy couldn't/wouldn't ID him because there had been no transfer of custody. This was subsequently confirmed by several Corrections Officers and Deputies.

Jon died three times and was brought back before he was transferred to ICU - in a coma and non-responsive. At that point the Undersheriff (who had announced his campaign for Sheriff) Paul Trudeau "took charge". Paul Trudeau took it upon himself to decide that since Jon was in their custody and their responsibility, he would decide who was able to see Jon, when, and how long.

Paul Trudeau was campaigning on a "Family and Christian Values" platform. And this self-righteous man decided that Maura, Grant, and Chad (all children with whom Jon had a father/child relationship) were NOT allowed to see him - solely because they were not "blood relatives" or "legal step-children". He only allowed myself (Jon's partner), his sister, and his mother to see him 20 minutes each. Not only didn't this conform to hospital visitation policy, it didn't conform to NYS Correctional visitation guidelines - which specify that the visitation rules of the facility in which an inmate is housed are to be followed.

Hospital policy for ICU was that one family member could stay 24/7, and a second family member could visit for 20 minutes at a time in addition. The doctor in charge of Jon's case and the nursing staff tried to persuade the corrections officers to allow hospital policy to dictate - after all, Jon was in a coma, attached to multiple life support systems, and non-responsive. Trudeau was adamant about his own guidelines.

Matthew 25 speaks to this: 
43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

When I chose to remind Paul Trudeau (a man of "Christian and Family Values") of this verse, he grew irate. His buddy Sheriff Burns backed him up. This meant that none of the kids was able to see Jon until after he had died a very difficult death. Trust me, you would not have wanted to see that as an adult, much less as the de facto child of a man.

I have no complaints about Samaritan Medical Center, the hospital administrator even interceded at one point on our behalf when Trudeau tried to have his corrections officers prevent me from getting status updates on Jon. (Jon had registered me with Samaritan as his medical information resource, granting me full permission to get medical reports on him.) The doctor handling Jon's case was amazingly compassionate, and insisted that her medical reports on Jon be delivered in his room, outside of the 20 minute allotted visitation times (in order that the three of us have opportunity to spend some more time with Jon). Even several of the Corrections Officers assigned to "guard" Jon were very lenient when it came to watching the clock.

The only people causing problems were the Undersheriff and the Sheriff. Not a big surprise given their history:
On the plus side, there is a new Sheriff in town, and it is NOT Paul Trudeau. The current Sheriff seems to have her hands very busy cleaning up all the departments that were allowed to reign unchecked and inappropriate under Burns and Trudeau.

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