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— "After four days of near unconsciousness at home, my Primary Physician discovered that my medical condition (pneumonia) had worsened. I was headed for death! With his intervention, I eventually recovered.

"This is in violation of both Federal and California 'Patients Bill of Rights.' The California Dept. of Health Services is mandating the enforcement of that regulation but unfortunately ignores the systemic problem.

"I have recovered my medical records that substantiate my charges."

Other victims of alleged abuse were brought to my attention:

On May 15, 2007, Shawna Davis, at the time residing at St. Vincent de Paul's women's center, experienced severe back pain, "Excruciating to where I couldn't move at all," she told me. Paramedics were called, and she was taken to Scripps Mercy, where she had been treated previously for sciatica. "On this occasion the pain was far worse than ever before." Davis, with minimal insurance (Medi-Cal), was never examined and was released within a few short hours. "It was because of my insurance and where they had picked me up," she concludes. A spokesperson at Scripps Mercy told me, "Many of these patients are simply drug seeking."

I have cardiomyopathy and a pacemaker and defibrillator, installed after quadruple bypass surgery. I've been forced to call 911 repeatedly in the past three years while experiencing severe chest pains that I unwisely treated with alcohol. On more than one occasion, I have been released in the middle of the night with only a hospital gown and a token, and I've been repeatedly accused of abusing 911 services. On several of these emergency room visits, I was given an EKG that proved negative. While one sympathetic female doctor in 2006 advised that I be kept overnight for observation -- "Absolutely necessary considering your cardiac history" -- hospital staff told me, "We can't simply hold you here because you're drunk," and the doctor's orders were overturned. (I was no longer covered by employer insurance after changing employment status from staff to freelance.) In the small hours, I wandered the streets of Hillcrest, where I was eventually arrested for public intoxication. I have not returned to Mercy emergency since July 24 of last year. Cardiologist Richard Friedman diagnosed the chest pains as symptoms of anxiety aggravated by temporary homelessness, familial problems, and alcohol use and has since prescribed medication for anxiety rendering further visits and humiliation unnecessary. My alcoholism has been in successful treatment as well for the past year.

On August 1, Judge Timothy Walsh will again consider the sentencing of Alissa Valencia. She had made a plea bargain before new facts came to light, and Walsh had postponed the sentencing. Cloud 9 Shuttle has been engaged to transport the disenfranchised, the displaced from outside St. Vincent de Paul and the Neil Good Day Center to the courthouse. This item you are reading should appear on the day or day after this courtroom proceeding. Following Channel 10's interest in covering the hearing, both Channels 8 and 39 have indicated similar interest. Juliette Vara of News 10 has championed this issue from the beginning: Ross's unlawful and dismissed ticketing in August of 2006, his May victimization, and the no less inhuman treatment at the hands of Scripps Mercy Hospital.

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