Emergency room doc says Ebola and flu patients should go home...

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Here's an interesting piece by an Indy doc who says hospitals are not the place to treat sick people with Ebola or the flu. He makes one or two good points, but note how hospitals have changed from Christian institutions of medical care—St. Francis, Divine Savior, St. Jude, Presbyterian-St. Luke—to businesses streamlined to make lots of money for corporations and their stockholders.

Love used to be the inspiration and motivation for most of these institutions; love inspired by the love of Jesus Christ. Now it's money and any name put on the hospital that speaks of love is merely an attempt at window dressing. In fact, hospitals' names have become meaningless.

Our local hospital (where Baby Doe was murdered by starvation by her parents and their doctor and Judge Baker thirty-two years ago) was called "Bloomington Hospital" until a couple years ago when a large "non-profit" corporation, Clarian, licensed IU's name and logo. So now "IU Health" is plastered everywhere—on our Bloomington hospital's facade as well as the facades of hundreds of medical facilities around our state (look west as you drive south on I-65 between Merrillville and Crown Point).

The process is something like Waste Management, Inc. licensing Apple's name and logo and plastering it all over their garbage trucks, sanitary landfills, garbage cans, and dumpsters because their garbage truck drivers use iPhones...

Plastering "IU" all over formerly-Christian institutions of mercy and care is the subterfuge of corporate marketing and a good indicator of where mercy and care stand in their hierarchy of "values." The big-money men own medicine now and they thought licensing the IU name and logo would give them a leg-up on the hospitals that are their competitors, so "IU Health" it is across our state.

Back in the old days, it was Christians who founded and ran those homes-away-from-home where the injured, sick, and dying were cared for, and Christian love was their motivation. Now, though, it's quite different and names like Divine Savior Hospital and Methodist Hospital are about as meaningful as "IU Hospital."

This detour about the big money that drives healthcare today is to highlight the conclusion the author of this piece comes to as he writes about the dangers posed by large epidemics such as Spanish Flu and Ebola, and how our hospitals and doctors should respond. Specifically, he says the purpose of hospitals is not to nurse the sick and dying; that doing so when the diseases are contagious is too risky and quite inefficient. Sick men and women, boys and girls should stay home and be cared for by their family. But if they are sent to his hospital, he says he thinks he may very well call in sick. He's not willing to give up his life to care for sick people—he has a wife and three kids, and when he became a doc, he wasn't signing up for caring for sick people their own families could care for almost as well.

If you read the piece, you may think my take on this doc's conclusions is a off the mark, but stop and think about Mother Theresa or any of her Sisters of Charity saying the things this doc says. Finally, note particularly where in the article the doc's use of the expletive "damn" increases.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

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