UTMB’s Correctional Managed Care program has an agreement with Lone Star College involving its Law Enforcement Phlebotomy Program. The participating Houston police officers at the units were there as part of the Lone Star College course they were taking. Having blood drawn is part of the standard intake process at TDCJ and offenders were given the option of having a police officer or a staff phlebotomist perform the procedure. All of the offenders involved chose to allow the police officers to do the procedure.No, really. UTMB, presumably with TDCJ's approval and cooperation, asked mentally ill inmates upon intake whether they'd consent to a novice practicing on them to draw blood. Is anyone surprised that "All of the offenders involved chose to allow the police officers to do the procedure"? Mark Bennett's satirical response pretty much says it all. Why couldn't UTMB operate a "Kidney farm," he asks, "And retina farm. And plasma farm. And bone marrow farm. (The last two are renewable resources, which the "offenders" will hardly miss.)" (See the rest of his hysterical post.)
How much was UTMB paid for this training, one wonders? For what petty profit did the doctors involved sell out their ethics? Or given recent layoffs, perhaps a better question is, were any doctors or nurses involved in making that ethical decision at all?