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Death at hospital demands action

June 19, 2007

Re "6 King staffers cited," June 16

How Los Angeles County can consider letters on behavior discipline is completely beyond the beyond. The Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital ER staff displayed all of the compassion and humanity of concentration camp guards in their treatment of Edith Isabel Rodriguez. To willfully ignore her painful suffering dehumanizes us all. The county should spend whatever it takes to remove all of the ER staff present at this absolute betrayal of basic human values. It would be money and time well spent.

RAYMOND WHITE

Pasadena

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Anyone may look it up: "Negligent homicide is a charge brought against persons, who by inaction, allow others under their care to die." Is it possible no one dares offer so much as a whisper of negligent homicide in discussing the unthinkably callous behavior of the care-givers involved in this latest King-Harbor incident?

Polite talk of "quality of care" is no substitute for the cry of murder this sickening event demands. Is it anything but murder most cruel? And then the gall of someone at King-Harbor to write a "letter of expectation" to the guilty, explaining how they should behave from now on.

Contemplation of this brand new from-now-on is almost comic in its dreadful lateness. Hasn't this house of horrors rolled up a healthy backlog of from-now-ons already? And still we read of one more "final review." And, of course, let's blame one nurse for this latest mess.

SHELLEY BERMAN

Bell Canyon

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King-Harbor has been kept open purely for political reasons. Any other hospital in the nation would have been closed long ago for much less. It has been characterized as detrimental to people's health by several regulatory bodies. But the L.A. County leadership does not have the guts to close it or drastically reform it.

SERGIO C. STONE MD

Villa Park

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Re "Don't close King-Harbor," Opinion, June 15

Thomas Scully writes that "there are many different big-city models to look at, but none have worked particularly well," only to immediately contradict himself by citing three examples (in Miami, Atlanta and Philadelphia) that seem to work far better than King-Harbor. His conclusion that the best the federal government can do is "to poke, prod and push the hospital" doesn't make any sense.

Yes, the ER should probably stay open, but only as a temporary measure while a comprehensive solution to the healthcare needs of the area's residents, patterned perhaps after these or other successful examples, is quickly and aggressively pursued.

AVI DECHTER

Los Angeles

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