Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Grim Meathook Future Of New Orleans

Charity Hospital, built when people used to dream about the future.

GMF Explained

Times-Picayune: When needed most, psych services gone

"In a scene that is becoming disturbingly common, New Orleans police were summoned during the July 4th weekend to Mid-City to deal with a paranoid schizophrenic man who had turned violent.

The man had lost his home in eastern New Orleans to Hurricane Katrina and had stopped taking his medications, he told friends, because the free clinic where he used to get the drugs also was obliterated by the storm.

Filthy and confused, he spit and cursed at officers as a half-dozen wrestled him to the ground and strapped leather restraints on him. They found three pairs of scissors in his clothes and two ice picks, one hidden in his cap.

Before Katrina, he would have been taken to Charity Hospital, where a special psychiatric team could have evaluated him and maybe kept him overnight. But in post-Katrina New Orleans, there are no such teams and no beds available for overnight stays.

He was taken instead to one of the private hospitals outside the city that have grudgingly accepted psychiatric patients since the storm. Fifteen minutes later, the man was released. Out of their jurisdiction, New Orleans police said they could only watch as he began to make his way back to the city."


Anonymous said...

I was born in Charity Hospital and the only medical care available to us was Charity Hospital...I hated it! It was there that I realized the true meaning of poverty. To view Charity Hospital thru my son's eyes 58 years later brings back the desperate feeling of what poor is...now it is even more hurtful to know the poor don't even have the hell hole of Charity Hospital. Personally I would rather die on my own than seek care from Charity.


Anonymous said...

Saw an empty Charity at this years Jazzfest. The shear size of the empty place was daunting. Click (or copy and paste), on the link to read a newspaper serial from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I have been by both Charity and Tulane many times during my travels to New Orleans and never really paid much attention to them. http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/twohospitals/

Anonymous said...

That sure is a shame, and look at the time and effort other people spent so that person could receive help, only to have the bottom fall out at the hospital. And like you said, this is a time where it was needed the most!