Friday, April 10, 2009

Working to End Patient Dumping Downtown

I joined City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo at a press conference on the rooftop of the Union Rescue Mission on Wednesday to announce a settlement with a hospital that had been patient dumping mentally ill people along skid row. It’s quite unbelievable to think that an institution that is supposed to look after the well being of its patients would even think of doing that. It’s disgusting and despicable behavior. It angers me because we’re talking about an extremely vulnerable population. And let’s be honest: our mental health care in this country is not what it should be. But first and foremost, like everybody else, people with mental illness deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. In short, they need to be treated like human beings. I applaud the City Attorney for the work he and his office have been doing on this issue and I hope this settlement (which includes fines and restrictions) will finally serve notice to other institutions: Do not patient dump in downtown Los Angeles or we will come after you.