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.
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.