Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Jail Is Not A Good Enough Remedy For This

Would a situation like this happen anywhere but in a public school?
Volusia County School officials stand by a Deltona High School nurse's decision to refuse a student his inhaler during an asthma attack, citing a lack of a parent's signature on a medical release form.

"It's like something out of a horror film. The person just sits there and watches you die," said Michael Rudi, 17. "She sat there, looked at me and she did nothing."

He said the school dean found his inhaler during a search of his locker last Friday. The inhaler was still in its original packaging -- complete with his name and directions for its use; however, the school took it away because his mother hadn't signed the proper form for him to have it.

School leaders called Sue Rudi when her son started having trouble breathing. She rushed to the office and was taken back to the nurse's office by school administrators and they discovered the teen on the floor.

"As soon as we opened up the door, we saw my son collapsing against the wall on the floor of the nurse's office while she was standing in the window of the locked door looking down at my son, who was in full-blown asthma attack," Rudi said.

Michael Rudi said when he started to pass out from his attack, the nurse locked the door.
"I believe that when I closed my eyes I wasn't going to wake up," he said.
Does common sense--not to mention mere humanity--not come into play at all?


allen (in Michigan) said...

Does common sense--not to mention mere humanity--not come into play at all?

Sure but the nurse was just protecting her job and the unnamed school officials were speaking in defense of a policy that explicitly absolves them of the need to exercise common sense. Not really that different from any other government employees whose conditions of employment are dictated by laws passed far from where the employee's decisions have to be made and in response to people who aren't concerned with anyone other then the constituency they're representing.

Steve USMA '85 said...

This is downright scary. What was the nurse going to do? Let the boy die right in front of her.

Anonymous said...

To a bureaucrat, the only question is, did you follow procedure? Results are irrelevant. Their procedure called for a parent signature on a form. No sig, no medicine. If the nurse had given the child his inhaler, she would have almost certainly lost her job.

After all, rules must be followed! The preventable deaths of a few children are a small price to pay to ensure proper procedure.

Welcome to (pre) Obamacare. Expect more of the same.

Anonymous said...

"To a bureaucrat, the only question is, did you follow procedure? Results are irrelevant."

Ignoring the question of "what is the right thing to do," the statement above isn't correct.

If the child had died, the nurse and the other present school officials would have risked facing murder charges. Even if the DA had declined to prosecute, the parents would have filed a civil "wrongful death" lawsuit for millions of dollars (both against the school and against the individuals). I'd bet money that a jury of 12 normal citizens would rule in favor of the parents.

Following the rules and then going to jail or facing bankruptcy is *NOT* okay with your random bureaucrat.

Which makes this all the more baffling.

If the kid had died, everyone involved would be in deep trouble. Did they think the kid wasn't in physical danger (which would also explain the lack of a 911 call)?

-Mark R

Rose said...

Of course nurse should have let the kid use his inhaler.

And yet....why didn't the mom fill out the form if it was so important?

Happy Elf Mom said...


How about having an ASTHMA ACTION PLAN for every student with a diagnosis within the first WEEK of school? And make the superintendent personally responsible that there are signatures on every needed form. I'm thinking state spot checks and it's a $2,000 fine per violation.

I have an asthmatic child so I understand a bit about what that is like and my sincerest sympathies are with this young man and his family.

KauaiMark said...

That is just plain messed up....

I'd be suing the district, principal and nurse who KNOWS better!

Common sense should not be overruled by petty bureaucrats.

Scott McCall said...

She might loose her job anyway.