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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
April 14, 1991     Arkansas Catholic
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April 14, 1991

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I ~OL. LXXX, NO. | 4 DIOCESE OF LrlTLE ROCK, AR April 14, 1991 St, Vincent Infirmary Medical Center responds to charges EVP explains patient refusal policy Little Rock- St. Vincent Infirmary Medi- tal Center has responded to charges by the bIealth Care Financing Administration (I-ICFA) that a patient needing care was refiased admission to the hospital. According to Lee Frazier, Executive Vice k nesident for Operations, "A MEMS ambu- ce arrived at the hospital after MEMS dispatch had been advised we had no criti- tal care beds available and that we were, therefore, not in a position to provide ap- Propriate care for the patient. A nurse ad- Vised the ambulance driver of the situation the driver took the patient to another hospital." Before rerouting the ambulance, said a hOspital spokesperson, th, e nurse should have assessed the patients status to deter- ~fine whether the patient should have been admitted to the Emergency Room. "This inadvertent violation of hospital ~Scy led to the patient's not being seen in !he ER,' Frazier said. "There is only one set ffcircumstarices under which our hospital l~licy would allow ambulance diversion. is when our critical care units...ICU and CCU...are filll and there are patients in the FaR waiting care and admission. Under those circumstances, in the interest of pa- tient safety, the best thing for the patient is that he/she be seen as soon as possible by whatever hospital can best meet the patient needs." According to Frazier, % situation oc- curs fairly frequently, not only at St. Vin- cent, but at the other community hospitals as well. In a cooperative effort among these hospitals it has become common practice to notify MEMS to reroute ambulances provided there are other hospitals able to accept critical patients." "What we have here is a failure to follow our own policy," Frazier said. "Appropriate disciplinary actions have been undertaken and we have initiated additional training activities With all employees who could be expected to be involved in such situations." The hospital completed these actions April 8. "We're extremely grateful that accord- ing to Kenneth C. hneider, MD, of HCFA, 'No person was harmed as a result of this situation'," said Frazier. "According to Dr. Schneider, our plan of action is satisfactory and when implemented will fulfill all re- quirements for Medicfire participation." oaks from Students plant a legacy By Betsy McNeil PauRogers - Children from St. Vincent de 1 School, some standing on tip-toe and utching cans filled With soil brought from Onae, Wiggled, giggled and watched as two ellow classmates poured buckets of water t~Ver the burlap-bagged root bundle of a r~ewlpplantbd Bradford pear tree. A Ixee-planting celebration recently took Place during an Arbor Day observance held on the front lawn of the school. In addition to planting the pear tree, the youngsters buried a time capsule which contained the names and' grade level of each student. " Rogers Mayor John Sampier opened the dedication ceremony by presenting an overview of National Arbor Day. 'q'he idea for an Arbor Day began in Nebraska in 1854," he said. "When J. Ster- ling Morton and his wife moved from a See "rree," page 4 YOU WANT IT HOW HIGH? St. Vincent fltemorlal. Betsy McNeil de Paul students plant a living Cardinal calls for justice Mexico City (CNS) - Cardinal Ernesto Corfipio Ahumada of Mexico (~ty has said free-trade talks among US., Cana-. dian and Mexican officials should be guided by a spirit of "Christian justice" and responsibility. In remarks made following Easter Sunday Mass in the downtown Metropolitan Ca- thedral, Corripio Cardinal Ahumada said a free-trade ar- rangement between the three nations should only be agreed upon if it is "well-thought out, With calm and patience, and after a real study" is made of the matter. "Christian justice demands that one share one's goods rather than accumulating them Theologian claims "20/20" segment was "invasion of privacy" Bishop gave permission for network filming By Sr. Mary Ann Walsh Washington (CNS) - A Church-approved filming and broadcasting by ABG-TV of an exorcism was a "violation of privacy" of the 16year-old girl involved, said Rev. Richard P. McBrien, a theologian at the University of Notre Dame. McBrien criticized the segment, part of ABC's April 5 "20/20" program, because it would "disturb a lot of people" and "holds the faith up to ridicule." He made his remarks on "ABC News Nightline," broadcast live shortly after "20/ 20" showed the exordsm performed by a priest on a teenager identified only as Gina. The exorcism was fdrned in St. Rita's parish in Wellington, FL, in the Diocese of Palm Beach, with permission of Bishop J. Keith Symons of Palm Beach. The bishop said he grained permission for "what I believe to be the good of the Church." In the segment Gina was fled to a chair. She was filmed retching after receMng holy water to drink, and voicing pain as a cross was pressed against her forehead. Several persons from St. Rita's parish appeared on camera, including Rev. Walter Dockefill, pastor and director of the char- ismafic movement in the diocese, assistant pastor Jesuit Rev. Paul Steinmet and Gina's mother. Also shown were Rev. James LeBar, a priest of the New York Archdiocese who works with people involved in Satanic cults, Dominican St. Lois Schaffer, at whose house the exorcism took place, and Carol Razza, a parish family counselor. while others around us are in need," Corripio said. Likewise, he said, Mexican officials and business men must promote a free-trade ac- cord which ensures an "egalitarian jusdce for everyone" and not just enrichment for a few wealthy Mexicans. Mexican government negotiators, he said, "should consider their responsibifity toward the Mexican people before signing the free- trade accord." Corripio was critical of the apparent haste shown by Mexican offdals to conduct nego- tiations. The administration of Pres. Carlos Salinas de Gortari has come out in favor of "fast- track" negotiation, ff approved by the US. Congress, the so called "fast-track" would al- low the Bush administration to bypass point- b)~point congressional debate on the accord and submit the negotiated accord to a single vote in Congress. "Who is urging them to speed up the talks?" Corripio asked. Mexican officials, he said, "shouldn't sign just to get it over with because (in doing so) they are affecting the entire nation." Before the exorcism, Gina and the others attended Mass at the nun's house. During the program, ABC kept secret the identity of the exorcist, named "Rev. A," by blurring his face, but there were dose- ups of the girl, who occasionally screeched. ABC correspondent TomJarriel said that a few days after the exorcism, Gina was hospitalized for psychiatric treatment for two weeks and currently is on anti-psychotic medication. On "20/20" Jesuit Rev. James j. Gill, a psychiatrist, stated that "~_hizophrenics very often, espedallyifthey're paranoid, will often just burst forth With fierce expressions of anger and hostility and rage." Jarriel also reported that a psychiatrist who worked With the girl 'k~as convinced she was psychotic, not necessarily possessed." See "Exorcism," page 6