This afternoon, our younger two kids had an appointment at pediatric specialists at the over-renamed MCG/GRHSU/GRUHealth/AUHealth. It was raining, so my wife was going to get the car. I hadn’t had lunch yet, and the kids were hungry, so we stopped at Subway with the intention of eating while she got the van.
As she was about to leave, we saw a lady walking down the sidewalk, crying and gesticulating. She appeared to be having some sort of seizure. My wife went out and talked to her and tried to calm her down, bought her a meal, got some of her story, enough to know she’d been at the ER and discharged somewhat prematurely, and had no one to pick her up.
Various professionals passed by. A few stopped momentarily. Three campus police officers arrived and seemed to be treating her as more a suspect than a victim.
My 8 year old daughter looked out the window and said the lady looked like she’d been beaten up. My wife thought the same–she had recent injuries that had been bandaged by the ER.
The kids remained patient remarkably long for their temperaments, but as our son hit his limit, we had to slip away. We drove past to see if she was still there, but she, and campus police, were gone, so hopefully they got her the help she needed.
But *why* does our society have to be so litigious and bureaucratic that no one can help anyone? Doctors and nurses passed by, too “terribly busy” or too afraid of being sued or fired to help (cf. the story of the firefighters who got in trouble for using their truck to get the little girl to the hospital before EMS could get her). And why do ERs discharge people when they’re clearly not treated??
I’ve had several occasions that I’ve been discharged with papers saying, “Come back if you experience XYZ,” and I’ve been like “Should I turn around and come back in since I mentioned that when I got here, and you didn’t do anything?”