Monday, June 21, 2010

Vampire cops train on mentally ill TDCJ inmates

The UT Medical Branch at Galveston, which provides health care at most Texas prison units, has been in the news recently for making a little money on the side. First it was a UTMB doc sanctioned for allegedly prescribing drugs to addicts outside his prison practice. Now we learn of UTMB's participation in a contract to train police officers to take blood following DWI stops by practicing on mentally ill inmates. KHOU published this statement from the medical school:
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?

5 comments:

R. Shackleford said...

That's kind of disquieting. 'Well, the blood thing went through with minimum fuss, what else can we whore these poor bastards out for?' kind of thing. Making money off of prisoners is a bad idea, this could lead to fewer folks being paroled to increase the revenue they generate.

Angee said...

I have always suspected there was testing taking place that even inmates are not aware of. I have the same thoughts about the military. Even mentally ill people tend to distrust police officers so this is a crock.

Anonymous said...

Well Angee, you're right , the use of prisoners for these experiments has been the norm in Texas and some other places. MRSA was caused by mycoplasma experiments to develop chemical warfare products. This was done by UTMB/ Baylor medical school AND the Army back in the early 1990s. Unfortunately it went wrong and caused more problems than only MRSA. Nuf said.

Anonymous said...

This is typical of UTMB...... short for cash and need to keep paying their Senior Leaders salaries, so let's make a quick buck at the expense of others....... I wish I could say I am shocked.

phlebotomy certification said...

This is quite alarming for me. I hope this is something that they should change since this is a very serious matter.