Clinic's Care Criticized

In light of the Dec. 6 article regarding the treatment of Phillip Negrete, I feel it necessary to relate the experience my family had with Secure Horizons and the Buenaventura Medical Clinic recently.

On Dec. 1, my mother, a diabetic who is a resident at the Fillmore Convalescent Center since October, suffered a stroke, her third in five months. She has been enrolled in Secure Horizons since June and had been seen by doctors at the Buenaventura Medical Clinic since July.

Following this latest stroke, my mother was unable to unclench her teeth or swallow food. The family's hope was to have my mother hospitalized to receive intravenous nourishment until her ability to eat was restored.

But these physicians personally informed me that they would not authorize admission to the hospital because her condition could not be "cured" and because all it would do was "prolong" her life and that her refusal to eat was to be expected.

Any compassionate human element seemed to be eliminated from their decision-making process. I consider this selective treatment. Is this the fate of all residents of nursing homes with the poor fortune to be at the mercy of an HMO? These doctors should be reminded that they are still dealing with people.



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