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Not-for-Profit, Award-Winning Community News and Views for Windham County, Vermont • Since 2006
Voices / Letters from readers

BMH owes an apology

RE: “How is this a way to treat our elderly? ” [Viewpoint, Jul. 25]:

Tamara Stenn’s story of what happened to her father-in-law at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital should leave every reader and resident of the greater Brattleboro area stunned, outraged, and deeply worried.

It should also make every staff person responsible for the travesty that occurred, from the CEO down, deeply ashamed and fully committed to making sure this kind of thing never happens again.

It is unbelievable and totally unacceptable that a 99-year-old emergency-room patient with two broken arms, on pain meds that impaired his judgment, with no family present, was refused admission to the hospital.

BMH’s staff clearly would have known that a three-day admission would not only have allowed family to arrive, but would also have guaranteed that Medicare would then cover nursing home/rehab care.

How has our local community hospital, once respected and trusted, come to this? Hospitalist admission? Poor hiring practices? Insufficient oversight? Problematic management?

Whatever the cause of this kind of event, and no matter how much of a mess our national health-care system is in, there is no excuse for what occurred.

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital owes the family of this gentleman, and the public, a forthright explanation for such culpable action, an immediate and honest apology, and most urgently, a specific plan for avoiding such an incident again.

The guiding principle for that plan is simple: Do no harm!

Elayne Clift
Saxtons River

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