Cancer patient

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AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
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Cancer patient

Arizona Police Searching for Child Missing From Cancer Ward - ABC News

Should a parent be able to check their child out of a hospital without the staff's permission?

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

Without permission absolutely, without notification, nope. I think parents should have the final say period, unless there was some reason the parents were not longer the guardians of the child.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

Mom was probably worried about being deported. They still should have told someone they were leaving

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I'm mostly concerned as to how the hospital doesn't realize that patients are gone. Parents or not that is a danger. There shouldn't be a way for a child to leave w/o signing out or something.

Parents should have the final say on what and where their child gets care.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

My heart aches for this family. I can understand saying enough is enough and I am just taking my baby home. However, I think they should have checked out properly.

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

I am extremely concerned that the mother took out the IV and what about the heart catheter? Yes parents can remove their children from medical care but do it properly!

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"mom2robbie" wrote:

I am extremely concerned that the mother took out the IV and what about the heart catheter? Yes parents can remove their children from medical care but do it properly!

I think this part was a little overblown. My son had one of these surgically implanted and it was there for over a year. They routinely leave these in for a year or more, so it's not like they were about to take it out before she left the hospital, they usually don't remove them until patients are in remission for a few months at least and won't be getting any more chemo treatments. Yes it will need to be surgically removed at some point but there is no urgency to get it out. As far as taking out the IV, the whole point of these catheters is to make it easier for IV's to be taken in and out without having to find a vein in the arm, so I don't think she would have much difficulty in removing the needle. I could have easily done it if I had wanted to when my son had one.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"wlillie" wrote:

Mom was probably worried about being deported. They still should have told someone they were leaving

What makes you say that?

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

What makes you say that?

From the article

The search has been difficult for officers, Martos said, since Emily and her family are from Mexico and have no locally listed records in Arizona.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

What makes you say that?

Bigotry. They're "from Mexico" so they must be illegal.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

From the article

Just because they are from Mexico and may not be local to Arizona doesn't mean they are illegal. We have a Children's Hospital here in Denver that attracts people from all over the country because they are known for being one of the best in the country for pediatric care.

Do hospitals usually report patients and their families to the INS? Like, if they were here illegally, is that something they would need to fear? Serious question; I honestly don't know.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Do hospitals usually report patients and their families to the INS? Like, if they were here illegally, is that something they would need to fear? Serious question; I honestly don't know.

I think someone that was here illegally would have that fear regardless if the hospital would do it or not. I think any time your child is seriously hurt or ill a social worker reviews your case for possible child endangerment and/or the home environment. It does not matter what color you are. That said, I do not think that is the reason this mother took her child. I can easily see a parent being asked to subject their child to untold pain and just not being able to handle it. I can remember each time I have had to hold my children down for shots. It breaks your heart and makes you just want to pick them up and leave.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Just because they are from Mexico and may not be local to Arizona doesn't mean they are illegal. We have a Children's Hospital here in Denver that attracts people from all over the country because they are known for being one of the best in the country for pediatric care.

The search has been difficult for officers, Martos said, since Emily and her family are from Mexico and have no locally listed records in Arizona.

If they were legal immigrants how would there be no records? Part of the process is that you have to keep your address current.

An immigrant can even be removed for failing to advise USCIS of a change of address within ten days of moving.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

If they were legal immigrants how would there be no records? Part of the process is that you have to keep your address current.

I don't know which process you mean. All I am saying is that the article only said that they were not listed locally in AZ. That doesn't mean that they are illegal immigrants. As I said before, people come to Denver from all over the country and even sometimes different parts of the world to be treated at Children's, because we have a number of specialists there that are considered to be some of the very best in their field. One of our huge charity pushes here in Denver is where people sign up to cook meals for out of towners staying here while their children are treated. If the police were trying to track down any one of those families, they would not be listed locally to Colorado. That doesn't mean that they are illegal immigrants, it means they don't usually live here.

Another example is a coworker of mine (American born and bred) that went to...errrrr....either Minnesota or Michigan....for a special clinic when she was very ill. My point is, people sometimes travel for treatment of serious illnesses. Maybe this family traveled to AZ from another state for treatment, or maybe they traveled to AZ from Mexico for treatment, but simply being from Mexico doesn't mean they automatically had to have broken the law to do so.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Another example is a coworker of mine (American born and bred) that went to...errrrr....either Minnesota or Michigan....for a special clinic when she was very ill. My point is, people sometimes travel for treatment of serious illnesses. Maybe this family traveled to AZ from another state for treatment, or maybe they traveled to AZ from Mexico for treatment, but simply being from Mexico doesn't mean they automatically had to have broken the law to do so.

Coming from Mexico isn't the same as traveling from another state. If you enter the country legally you have to have a VISA or some kind of paperwork, even if they traveled from Mexico to AZ for treatment. Even if they traveled from another state for treatment I'm pretty sure that the INS would still have record of them if they were legal immigrants. If they are looking for them and knew they are from Mexico it seems logical that they would check with INS first. The article says they have no records. It is not a big jump to infer from that they are not legal residents. You are correct, we don't know for sure, but don't act like it is some bigotry or something to come to a perfectly logical conclusion based on that line in the article.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

If I traveled to Arizona for treatment I'm not changing my main address. I'm legally here and can travel to other states. This wouldn't be a full address change.

The article says nothing about their legal status just that they do not live locally. That could be anyone.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Coming from Mexico isn't the same as traveling from another state. If you enter the country legally you have to have a VISA or some kind of paperwork, even if they traveled from Mexico to AZ for treatment. Even if they traveled from another state for treatment I'm pretty sure that the INS would still have record of them if they were legal immigrants. If they are looking for them and knew they are from Mexico it seems logical that they would check with INS first. The article says they have no records. It is not a big jump to infer from that they are not legal residents. You are correct, we don't know for sure, but don't act like it is some bigotry or something to come to a perfectly logical conclusion based on that line in the article.

I happen to know that's not true. My cousin is married to a guy from England who has his legal residency here, and he is able to travel to other states without checking in with INS first. If he went to Michigan to go to that clinic, they would have no local listings for him, but he's still here legally.

I just question why it's the automatic assumption that just because there aren't local listings then they must be illegal and fleeing La Migra. The article didn't say that, and IME that is the kind of tidbit that the news loves to work in.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

For the record -

The U.S. Border Patrol located the father of an 11-year-old girl whose mother had removed her from Phoenix Children's Hospital with a catheter still in her heart, but he has denied playing any role in taking the cancer-stricken girl from her sickbed.

Surveillance video captured the girl, identified only as Emily, along with a young boy and her mother, who police have now identified as 35-year-old Norma Bracamontes, walking out of Phoenix Children's Hospital at 10:30 p.m. last Wednesday.

Authorities and medical professionals fear the catheter in the girl's heart could become infected and endanger her life. The device was scheduled to be taken out before her mother removed an IV from the girl, who had been receiving chemotherapy, had recently battled an infection and had her right arm amputated.

When stopped while entering the United States last weekend, Luis Bracamontes, 46, told authorities that the family lived a "nomadic" life, and did not have a permanent residence, ABC affiliate KNXV-TV reported.

Police said that Bracamontes was a Mexican citizen with a U.S. Resident Alien ID Card, and that the girl and her mother were U.S. citizens. Other than that, Bracamontes provided "no valuable information" as far as the whereabouts of his daughter, Sgt. Steve Martos of the Phoenix Police Department said.

Though authorities are still baffled as to why the family would remove the girl from the hospital, they speculated that they might have been worried about paying the bill, the Associated Press reported. Neither parent has been charged with a crime.

The family's not having a U.S. address has made the search for Emily difficult, Martos told ABC News last week. Since Emily and her family are from Mexico, they have no listed records in Arizona.

A nurse supervisor called 911 when she realized Emily was missing, and described how Emily was able to avoid detection.

"She was wearing a wig, which is not unusual, a lot of our cancer patients wear wigs," the supervisor said. "She wasn't wearing a wig when she went into the bathroom though, and then she was wearing a wig when she came out, and she was actually covering her right arm, the amputated arm."

Police said Norma Bracamontes removed Emily's IV before walking her out of the hospital in street clothes.
The family left the hospital in a black van and has not been seen since. Luis Bracamontes denied to authorities that he was driving the van.

Calls placed today to Phoenix Children's Hospital spokeswoman Jane Walton by ABC News were not immediately returned.

With the catheter still in her heart, Emily runs the risk of infection at both the site where the catheter entered her skin, and risks bacteria getting into the catheter at its tip, from where it could travel into her heart. At that point, the bacteria could enter her bloodstream.

Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told ABCNews.com that the longer Emily is out of professional care, the chances of her developing sepsis increases.

"This is not hype, or an overblown concern," he said. "We have a patient who, with cancer, is in a precarious position for infection. The longer it takes, the more worried we get. The chances of an infection being introduced goes up and up each day."

(just happened to see this when I was reading about the Nativity Scene thing.)

I was kind of wondering if paying the bill was the concern. It just didn't make sense to me for someone to do what was probably months of cancer treatments for their kids and only worry about deportation (or only do something about it) now. Paying the bill, on the other hand, could be a huge deal, especially if they don't have insurance.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I was kind of wondering if paying the bill was the concern. It just didn't make sense to me for someone to do what was probably months of cancer treatments for their kids and only worry about deportation (or only do something about it) now. Paying the bill, on the other hand, could be a huge deal, especially if they don't have insurance.

Actually it makes more sense that they would try and skip out on the bill if they are citizens, because illegals don't have to pay anything.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

They ARE citizens. They are US citizens.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

She's saying that illegals don't pay anything and that if they are legal they would have to pay which means skipping out on bill.

Even more of a reason why everyone should have access to health insurance.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"Jessica80" wrote:

She's saying that illegals don't pay anything and that if they are legal they would have to pay which means skipping out on bill.

Even more of a reason why everyone should have access to health insurance.

To the bolded, yes.