Poor Mr. Rosenbaum

Poor Mr. Rosenbaum

Every once in a while –usually when a newspaper reporter dies– the media tell the true story of the stunning incompetence of our health care system. Here is an example:

Firefighters, ambulance technicians, police officers and the nurses and doctors at a Washington hospital committed “multiple individual failures” in responding to the ultimately fatal beating of a journalist near his home last January, an official inquiry concluded on Friday.

Describing “alarming levels of complacency and indifference” in emergency medical care in the nation’s capital, the District of Columbia’s inspector general reported sloppiness and mistakes by almost everyone who initially responded to the lethal attack on David E. Rosenbaum, a retired reporter for The New York Times. Mr. Rosenbaum, 63, died two days after he was found lying semiconscious on a sidewalk near his home on Jan. 6.

The report concludes:

The inspector general said the multiple failures “suggest an impaired work ethic that must be addressed before it becomes pervasive.”

That’s ironic on a number of levels, especially the implication that this was an isolated incident.

June 26, 2006

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