Thursday, September 5, 2013

A response to learning that no charges are laid against workers at St Joseph's care home, Peterborough: a rant

            There are times when you have to shake your head.  There are times when you have to pick your jaw up off the floor.  There are times when you have to readjust your eyeballs.  This is one of those times.  I have just learned (Sept 5, 2013) that no charges are going to be laid in the St Joseph’s care home abuse case in Peterborough Ontario.  A short history: a woman was abused at St Joseph's care home in Peterborough earlier in 2013.  This was filmed and brought to the attention of the media by the woman's son.  It caused great outrage and rightly so.  Now we learn that no charges are being laid.

You can link to the story right here.

This lack of charges is interesting, because it tells us that despite the rhetoric about safety, that seniors, and by extension disabled people are not safe when in care.  And there is no limit to that, whether in hospital, care home or school. 
            The sad part of this is that it wouldn’t take that much to change our minds on this issue.  The woman was caught on camera, being abused.  Unless it doesn’t cross the threshold of abuse.  So how much more will it take?  A dead body?  We’ve had those…
            The other part of this is that it comes at a time when we have the impending ‘debates’ on Bill 52, and that is a recipe for abuse.  So when are we going to draw the line?  There has been no public explanation about the outcome of this, and the son of the woman who was beaten is having a hard time getting answers, apparently.  So what is it going to take?
            We really shouldn’t think of that, because that tells us that things are far worse than we realized.  So if we can’t even get a simple assault charge laid, how safe are we?  Are our laws now all safeguards?  What will it take?
            I am guessing that no charges are laid because of the hidden camera issue.  The camera was not supposed to be there, so ergo, it never took the pictures, so that doesn’t count.  Therefore there are no witnesses to the crime even though it was caught on camera.  So if this is the case, then can we say that we are not filming when we are, or is it because the video was not in a ‘public’ place?  Ahh…that must be it…not in public so can’t be used.  Despite the clear evidence by vision of abuse of the woman in the video.  Oh well, better luck next time, and sorry about that…
            This is exactly the sort of thing that has to change in our society, because if we allow this, who knows where it will stop…at maybe seniors being starved to death by not being allowed to spoon-feed?  Oh wait…[British Columbia]
            Okay.  How about a silent DNR order on the charts so that the senior does not get care even though they want it.  Oh wait…[Ontario]
            Um, how about when one senior assaults another in a care home and this assaulter is known to be violent and no-one can do anything about it. Oh, wait…[Toronto, 2013]
            Alright, how about when an autistic boy is beaten to within moments of dying by someone who is supposed to care for him outside the hospital. Oh, wait…[London, 2013]
            I suggest that what we are seeing here is the creation of an institutionalized abuse of vulnerable people because the payoff is cost savings.  Out of sight out of mind, perhaps?  The insidious part of all this is that we are rubber-stamping it because it is in the name of ‘patient autonomy’.  And those who are in favour of such things don’t call it murder, they call it an unfortunate incident.
            One that gets buried under confidentiality and silence protocols, so that no-one ever really quite knows the whole truth about it, and even when we do: there is more to this story so don’t judge.  Tell you what: give us the whole story as the public and let us make up our own minds.  And then maybe we can sit down and have a ‘chat’ [Thanks, Kathleen Wynne] about what we need to do.  Why are we not in the streets with pitchforks and torches?  Oh, right, too glued to Miley and Lindsay’s latest antics to care…


  1. Again, sadly, I think it all boils down to the almighty dollar. Or whatever currency is applicable. We've been headed here a long time. There's no longer compassion in the human race.

    If a human needs help to eat, dress, etc etc, if their care is going to cost the insurance company more than they want to pay...just let them, or better yet, MAKE them die.

    I honestly feel that is what it's coming down to. If you're not young and beautiful/handsome, you're worthless. Doesn't matter how hard you worked bringing home a pay check every week, bringing up your kids, keeping your home clean. You deserve nothing in return when you can no longer take care of yourself. Just to die alone. In pain. My 2 cents.

  2. Oh, and PS. I dare you to find someone that gives a hoot.


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