Last Patient Standing : Michael Moore's 'Sicko' Illustrates Plight of Edith Rodriguez

Last Comic Standing has its season premier tonight on NBC

A promotional television spot for "Last Comic Standing," which has a 2-hour season premier tonight on NBC, really captured my attention. In the promo, an up-and-coming comedian jokes about hospitals asking us who should be contacted in case there's an emergency. "The doctor!" is the comic's killer punchline. No truer logic exists.

But sadly for 43-year-old Edith Rodriguez -- who for 45-minutes writhed on the Emergency Room floor vomiting blood at a Los Angeles hospital -- calling a doctor would not happen. Her boyfriend grew so desperate for medical attention for her that he dialed 9-1-1, hoping to get Rodriguez to a different facility for care. His plea to paramedics for help was dismissed. Same thing happened when a complete stranger could no longer tolerate watching the woman die on the E.R. floor.

Eventually, the police came for Rodriguez. She died while they wheeled her out of the hospital. They hadn't come to help her, however. The police had come to arrest the dying woman for a parole violation.

ssR.I.P., Edith Rodriguez, whose shocking lack of treatment at a Los Angeles hospital's emergency room led to her demise
What policy, directive or threat could these hospital workers possibly have to justify so heartlessly ignoring this dying woman? It turns out the hospital already was on a 23-day probation for mishandling too many previous cases.

Adding insult to injury is the facility's name: Martin Luther King, Jr. - Harbor Hospital. Every African American employee, in particular, who walked past the dying Rodriguez should hang his or her head in shame...

Filmmaker Michael Moore challenges the healthcare system in his new movie, Sicko
Controversial filmmaker Michael Moore's new documentary, "Sicko," hits theaters on June 29 -- and not a moment too soon. A film that confronts a complacent American public for not demanding more humane treatment for those struggling to afford decent health care, "Sicko" importantly focuses its audiences on this, according to the Guardian Unlimited:

That the United States ranked only 37th on the WHO list, just two slots ahead of Cuba, particularly infuriates Moore: With more wealth and technology than any other country, we nevertheless have 50 million citizens without insurance, 9 million of them children. As "Sicko" anecdotally documents, many Americans eligible for insurance can't afford it, and a long inventory of preexisting conditions limits the insurability of those who can.

Among "Sicko's" villains are politicians who pocket millions from HMOs and pharmaceuticals while denouncing universal care as little better than a Communist plot.

Say what you will about Michael Moore's stance or tactics, but he continues to be a hero in my eyes. His is arguably one of the most important voices in America, period. I'm sure that poor Edith Rodriguez and no less than Dr. Martin Luther King would agree.

~ CNN transcript: Where the presidential candidates stand on healthcare

~ New York Times: "911 Tapes: Dying Woman Was Denied Help"

~ L.A. Times: Slide show covering Edith Rodgriguez's homegoing service


~ Michael Moore's interview at

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Villager said...

I was unaware of the situation with Rodriquez, although I was aware that MLK Hospital in Los Angeles is under serious watch for a wide range of problems.

Thanks for sharing this info with us!

peace, Villager

Anonymous said...

I cannot wait until Sicko comes out. I think certain politians will have much explaining to do the American people. Too many are lining their pockets at the people's expense and Sicko will make us start asking harder questions.

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