King County Hospital horrors seen all over the country

Anyone who imagines King County Hospital is a horrible exception to the rule has never been hospitalized or doesn’t follow the news. These stories crop up all over the place. Cherry Hospital in North Carolina most recently. Also in the last 2 years Georgia’s obscene unecessary death rate in psych wards has made headlines.

Psychiatric hospitals are more often then not places where people are further traumatized rather than healed. Every hospitalization in my life has been horribly traumatic. So much so that I suffer PTSD from the experiences. I would rather die than go to the hospital. Truly. I mean that. Because it’s a soul killing experience and I’d rather be actually dead than alive without a soul. And it took me years to get my soul back.

Kings County Hospital Center was founded 175 years ago, but it didn’t become truly infamous until last year when that horrible video surfaced, depicting a woman being left for dead on the floor of the ER waiting room for nearly an hour. Now, after a year-long probe, the Justice Department has documented an appalling pattern of sexual and violent assaults at the psychiatric unit. Read no further if you think One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is hard to stomach.

The damning 58 page report [PDF] concludes that the unit is basically being run like a prison. Assistant U.S. Attorney General Loretta King and Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell describe “highly dangerous conditions” which “require immediate attention.” (please read the rest)

Here’s the NY Times version.

We need more homes like Soteria that are actually therapeutic.

Thanks Susan.

9 thoughts on “King County Hospital horrors seen all over the country

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  1. David and Gianna, great comments as always.

    My last stay at Princeton House, December 07, I was in the “basement” with people who were brought in by cops and committed involuntarily. No murderers, but quite a number of domestic disputes.

    Lets just say I was not a happy camper in that trip. These people got ugly if the smoke break was a minute late.

    I am afraid this might get more common at NY facilities. Gov Patterson is cutting so much health problems to balance the books, it’s not funny.

  2. As you probably know, Cuckoo’s Nest was based on Dammasch State Hospital, right here in my home state. I had a relative who was admitted there for an extended enforced stay after killing someone while drunk driving, and the stories he told were pretty … interesting. Ken Kesey wasn’t exaggerating, and if anything, he soft-pedaled it. Of course, I didn’t have much sympathy for the relative — if anyone deserves a stay in an abusive psych ward, it’s murdering drunk drivers. He was there to “dry out,” as it were.

  3. “We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”

    – Martin Luther King, Jr – ‘I Have a Dream’ – March on Washington

  4. Soterias…..

    Before my lifetime’s over Gianna…..
    I want to see this happen….

    I will never forget first hearing the story of Esmin Green, and seeing the pictures, and reading what her family and friends had to say about her…..always with a smile….a joy to be with….I couldn’t sleep that night….I stayed up all night and cried….

    To some, this may seem strange (so be it!)….But, she was (in the spirtual sense) my ‘sister’!

    How dare these people continue to do these things to my brothers and sisters….

    We will have our day…our ‘March on Washington’….
    You just watch, we’ll have our day!

    Thanks for posting this!


  5. I love that video Duane,
    I’ve put it on my blog before as well…can’t see it enough…

    and we need a mulitiple soteria’s in metropolitan areas and then speckled across rural america too…

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