Do you know what year it is? I'm sure you do. Do you know what ADA means? AMERICANS with DISABILITIES ACT. A law that says that places that provide help to people and patients *MUST* provide a sign language interpreter for Deaf people.
Unfortunately, the follow news story made my thoughts change about hospitals in the State of New York, especially on Long Island!!
When I read this article about this older deaf patient, it made me cry. WHY?
For an older deaf man, he was denied his basic human rights. From not going to the bathroom, which would have helped him very much (God bless those who did help!), to not knowing that he was dying of cancer is a form of cruel torture.
Cancer is painful. Fighting cancer through treatments can be painful too. Maybe these hospitals wanted to spare him from those treatments and let him die.
But the worst treatment of all: Communication. Why doesn't a hospital get an interpreter? Is it about cost? Is it about an inability to provide a bondable interpreter to make sure that patients rights would be protected? WHAT?
Those questions and more would have to be answered in a court room. Hopefully this lawsuit will make those hospitals realize that this is 2014. We are not living in PRE-ADA days anymore. We're living in a life time where Deaf and disabled people must be treated with respect.
But most of all, we need to be told of our problems with our health so that we can get the proper treatments to live on till we conclude our life in a natural death as God intended for us.
I am very sure that Alfred Weinrib must have known something was wrong with him. But the lack of knowing his condition must have given him a painful death. Nobody doesn't deserve that.
Let make every hospital out there very clear: This is 2014. ADA is the law for the Deaf and disabled people. COMMUNICATION is the key. We need to be informed of our health by all people who treat the Deaf and Disabled. Over all, it must be given with respect.
For the hospitals in Long Island, the Deaf and disabled would rather tell ambulance crews to take them into New York State for their own safety. so this is going to be a long time until hospitals learn that every patient must be treated equally and with respect and comfort.
For the family of Alfred Weinrib, I can only hope that God gives you comfort and that many other Deaf patients will stand up for their rights of access to total communication.
Doctors and nurses and aides: you use one piece of medical equipment every day in this age. It is called a pen and paper. This is our form of communication as well. It's cheap and inexpensive.
I encourage you to use it so that communication can be established with deaf patients until a proper certified interpreter can be found.
Thank you. God bless and rest in peace Alfred Weinrib!