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Posts tagged ‘Folole Muliaga’

Muliaga – Who else can be blamed?

Unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more clear that Mrs Folole Muliaga was not killed by any electricity company or contractor, she was killed by the lifestyle and decisions that she herself made.

That’s sad, but it’s the truth.

Now, “the poor are not allowed blanketsMia is saying… well, let’s use her own words. It would be a shame not to.

The daughter talked of the way she was treated by hospital staff, who discharged Folole Muliaga because her bed was needed… [thanks to the demands placed upon the hospital by the socialist health system - S1]

The idea that we can all control our own health, if we have the right ‘lifestyle’ runs strong in our society. The underpinnings of this idea can be challenged in so many ways. But I think we need to reject the underlying ideology and see that the blame that Folole Muliaga’s daughter felt isn’t incidental to this idea, but it’s raison d’etre. We’re supposed to be distracted from all the other reasons why poor pacific island immigrants die in South Auckland, and blame the woman herself.

Foloe Muliaga’s death is a tragedy for so many reasons, but the hospital system’s culpability shouldn’t be ignored, just because of the horrific role played by the power company.

But clearly her own actions should. Let’s look at those actions, reported today. (The following are direct quotes from the article, emphasis mine.)

  • Ms Hart said she warned Mrs Muliaga repeatedly about her diet, which included fatty foods, and her lack of exercise.
  • At one point she showed Mrs Muliaga an X-ray of her chest showing her enlarged heart and explained her heart would not cope if she did not take her health seriously.
  • Mrs Muliaga had admitted to her that at times she did not take her medication, despite being told she needed to in order to reduce fluid and help her breathing.
  • Ms Hart said this was the only time Mrs Muliaga shared any concerns about power costs or financial concerns and they arranged a monthly payment to cover the extra costs.
  • During her home visits and at the clinic, Ms Hart said she had stressed the need to use the oxygen machine at least 16 hours a day at the required dose.
  • Earlier Andrew Veale, a respiratory specialist, told the court he would have expected Mrs Muliaga to go to hospital or take appropriate action in calling for help if she felt her condition was deteriorating.

So she was warned about her diet, was shown xrays, chose not to take her medication (her medication would have been state funded), and doctors naturally expected her to go back to hospital if she got worse.

She ignored the warnings, and chose not to access life saving treatment at a hospital. As much as one hates blaming the victim, in this case it’s just the way things went down.

I’d encourage people to read the whole thing. It’s clear that this woman had plenty of help, plenty of warning and knew that she was going to die. In all this, it’s also clear that her family was in the dark over many things and that has now been used by an unscrupulous man to gain political power.

I was listening to the radio the other day to the great list of things that Mercury is doing to try and prevent this. They’re doing a lot of things, because they did not do one thing wrong. Not. One. Thing. So they now have to do dozens of things just in case someone dies after their electricity is cut off, no matter what happened before that.

But as Mia says – they won’t just blame the power company, they’ll go after anyone else too, even socialist hospitals.

Update: Missed this in the Herald. Seems she was pretty much on the way out as far as the Doctors were concerned.

Counties Manukau District Health Board also revealed today it would not have tried to save Folole Muliaga if her heart had stopped.

Medical records presented to the Coroner show that if Mrs Muliaga had suffered a cardiac arrest in hospital, no attempt would have been made to resuscitate her.

The Muliaga Tragedy

I’m also following the inquest into the death of Folole Muliaga. Today the contractor spoke.

It’s a telling point that there are so many lawyers involved.

The more I listen, the more I wonder at all the things people say should have been done, and have been done, but I have yet to hear anything that might have saved her.

Because this woman should have been in hospital. Her machine was one to be used overnight, and if the power were to fail overnight, turned off. There was no battery on the machine because the machine was not for life support. There is no way anyone who might die within 3 hours should be on a  machine without a battery.

Sadly, the only person who really could have made a difference to Mrs Folole Muliaga is Mrs Folole Muliaga. The family stated at the opening of the inquest that they would also be laying blame at the door of the hospital, but how do hospitals find out what is wrong with a patient?

a) the patient has to walk in the door

b) they ask them how they are feeling

c) based on that, they do tests

Clearly, the family had no idea how sick she was. The hospital didn’t, or she’d be there instead. Anyone else whould have told her to go to hospital. So how was a poor contractor, who evidence shows was a very caring guy, supposed to do? His evidence:

He handed a disconnection notice through a window to Mrs Muliaga’s son Ietitaia, and while on his way from the property was asked by Ietitaia to come and speak to his mother.

The contractor met with Mrs Muliaga at the living room table, after which he chatted for another two to three minutes.

He agreed that she said “give us a chance”, and that she asked about how to reconnect the power, but he said at no stage had she said she needed the power for her health.

The contractor said her request to give her a chance was not uncommon, and he usually took it to mean somebody wanted another chance to pay the bill.

Though he saw the tubes coming from her nose, the contractor said he did not see an oxygen machine and he did not think to ask about the tubes.

He said she didn’t bring the matter up, and he thought it inappropriate to ask about what he thought was a private matter.

When the noise the oxygen machine makes when the power is turned off was demonstrated to him in court, the contractor said he heard no such noise at the Muliaga house.

Sadly, on the balance I doubt that the son did actually overhear her tellling the guy that she needed the machine. It just doesn’t stack up.

We’ll see what is10 said over the next few days.

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