Budget Cuts Killed My Baby Sister

by Rev. Clarence Turner III, pastor of Fruit of the Spirit Baptist Church

Printed in the Executive Intelligence Review, February 23, 2001

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Rev. Clarence Turner III, pastor of Fruit of the Spirit Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., addressed the Feb. 6 emergency Meeting to Save D.C. General, where he announced that he would begin a vigil and fast at D.C. General Hospital the next day. Rev. Turner was a delegate candidate for Democratic Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche in the May 2, 2000 Washington, D.C. primary election. Here are excerpts of his remarks.

I was treated at D.C. General Hospital, in 1959. If you look carefully, you'll see I stand straight. My back was broken in three places. My neck was broken. But on the third day, I got up out of the bed at D.C. General Hospital, when I thought I was going to die. But God chose to allow me to live.

But let me take you a little further. I've got a son that had been beaten almost to death, about five years ago. He works as a fireman and a paramedic now. We got him to D.C. General Hospital in about eight minutes. Finally, they were able to work on him. He stayed in intensive care for five days, [with an] induced coma because of brain swelling. He survived, and he's now doing everything he can to make sure people live.

I've been in Code Blue [inpatient life-threatening emergency, such as cardiac or respiratory arrest] seven times. Four of those times were in D.C. General Hospital. Those doctors got on their job. They found out the problem, worked right on it and got me out of there.

My baby sister had all kinds of insurance. My baby sister did not have to die. Somebody said it was D.C. General's fault, but the biggest problem, was because of the budgetary cuts, and some doctors that were so busy trying to save money, that they didn't deal with her situation: She was sent home, and in an hour and a half or two hours, she was dead. The same ambulance crew that delivered her, had not even gotten off their shift, came back to pronounce her dead.

I've watched them in those ambulances fighting to try to save somebody's life, trying to keep blood from running out of people's bodies. They suffer harder than you do about somebody dying. And can you imagine, they have to go another 10 or 15 minutes somewhere--it's not going to work, folks.

A change has to happen in our system. Our system is set up for you to die. If they snatch D.C. General Hospital, what do you think they're going to put in there? High-rises and beachfront condominiums and properties. How many of you are willing to die, because somebody wants to make a few extra million dollars?

Whatever way you do it, you'd better take it back now, because tomorrow might be too late.

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The preceding article is a rough version of the article that appeared in The Executive Intelligence Review. It is made available here with the permission of The Executive Intelligence Review. Any use of, or quotations from, this article must attribute them to The New Federalist, and The Executive Intelligence Review

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