Daily Archives: April 10, 2010

Coroner should hold inquest into Queen Elizabeth Hospital death: Was it suicide? Patient confusion? Negligence?

The Nation newspaper declares Al Cumberbatch a “jumper” suicide – That’s convenient!

http://www.nationnews.com/story/WEB-Fri-lead1-QEH-jumper-dead-FRONT-PAGE-OTHER#

Look at the above Nation News website address for the paper’s story about the death of Al Cumberbatch: “QEH jumper dead”. That’s “jumper” not “faller”. Jumper – as in a person intentionally jumping to their death. I suppose that if Cumberbatch jumped he could have been intending to escape from five floors up – but that doesn’t make too much sense unless Mr. Cumberbatch was in a confused state of mind for some reason…

…Such as confusion caused by diabetes. (Google “diabetes confusion” or “diabetes delirium” and you’ll see how serious an issue this is.)

We read in the story that Mr. Cumberbatch was a diabetic and had been tied to his bed “restrained” by one wrist because he was “agitated” about being detained at the hospital.

So somebody, presumably medical personnel, knew he wanted to leave but also knew he should stay for treatment. That sounds to me like somebody determined that Mr. Cumberbatch was not capable of making proper decisions about his own medical treatment, health and personal safety. He was confused.

Yet Mr. Cumberbatch was left alone for enough time to free himself and plunge 5 stories to his death.

Or, was he indeed alone at the time?

Were enough staff on duty at the time he died… or was it one of those days when they run the floor with about half the personnel they truly should have? And if that’s the case, who’s fault is it? The poor overworked nurse who couldn’t be everywhere at the same time? The hospital administration? The BLP and DLP governments who chronically underfunded the hospital for the last 15 years?

How can we prevent this from happening again?

The hospital staff should not investigate themselves

So many questions – and that’s why there needs to be a Coroner’s Inquest into Mr. Cumberbatch’s death. Only by having a public and professional inquest can society can be sure that the true cause of Mr. Cumberbatch’s death is known – so steps can be taken to prevent another death.

We can’t trust the hospital administration and other personnel to investigate themselves. Whether they are good and honest people or not has nothing to do with it: justice and professionalism demand that there be an independent investigation – and that’s why the Coroner must step in as soon as possible to ensure that the investigation is independent, thorough and professional.

We don’t do Coroner’s Inquests in Barbados if the political or business elites are involved!

Barbados is a small island where everyone knows somebody who knows somebody. If you are “in” with the group of business and political elites, you’re “in” – and the rules of society change for you.

That is our burden on this island: that we have two sets of rules, two sets of laws.

One set of rules for the elites – and another set of rules for everyone else.

Nobody important, so no inquest... and those who are responsible for their deaths ARE somebodies. Welcome to Barbados!

This is a society where a family of five can die in a cave-in at a construction site – but there will be no inquest. In that case we had cracks appearing all around the Codrington family’s home and a “stop work” order was issued by “somebody”. Four days later “somebody” gave the go to resume construction and five people died.

No inquest though – because the people involved in the building of the Codrington home, the sale and transfer, the new construction and the “stop work” and “go ahead” orders are part of the protected elites. They are so protected that the Barbados news media won’t say their names.

The dead Codrington family, the three children and parents, were nobodies – just ordinary folks. There wasn’t any inquest.

Will there be an inquest called into the death of Al Cumberbatch?

Maybe not. Probably not. Mr. Cumberbatch and his family are ordinary people and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been under fire for some time.

It is so typical that the Nation newspaper today printed an article covering a STAGED TOUR with Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner saying what a fine place the QEH is (QEH among “the best”) – but the same paper won’t call for an inquest into Cumberbatch’s death nor will it do a story about diabetes confusion or question the wisdom of leaving a confused patient tied to a bed without proper supervision.

In a responsible and well-led society, Mr. Cumberbatch’s death would instantly be flagged for an inquest because the public good demands it. That’s in a responsible and well-led society, that is. Here in Barbados? Well, we’ll have to wait to see if any big shots are involved before we know the likelihood of an inquest being called.

Shona’s Work Story: Was a co-worker drunk? On drugs? No: They were having a Diabetic episode!

Our girl Shona saved a co-worker’s life one time, but the circumstances were such that it was only luck and a “bad feeling” that caused Shona to act as she did. This happened about ten years ago when Shona was working in a large office environment. She heard some people laughing and was told that “so and so” came back tipsy from lunch.

A few minutes later Shona saw the man and he appeared slightly drunk or high sitting at his desk doing paperwork but moving slowly. She asked if she should take his calls that afternoon and the man said ok, laughed and started talking nonsense. Shona laughed too and went back to her desk but started to have doubts. Her doubts grew and she returned to the man’s office and watched as he became worse minute by minute.

It ended up that Shona called the ambulance thinking that the man might be having a stroke, but later he told her that he was diabetic and didn’t realise what was happening to him at the time. He was gone for a week and told Shona that it had been a “close one” according to his doctor.

Here is the story from the Nation. You should read it at their website, but we will post the full story because both the Nation and the Barbados Advocate have shown that they will remove or modify stories to change history…

QEH patient dead after fall

AL CUMBERBATCH, the man who fell off the balcony at Ward C5 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) last Saturday, has succumbed to his injuries.
His grieving sister Sakina Waldron said he died on Thursday morning around 10 a.m.

When this newspaper contacted Waldron just before 2 p.m., she said the family was still very angry and had not received an official report as to what happened on the morning Cumberbatch died. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Health, Human Rights