Wait a Minute, I thought Jesus Said We Were All Precious

This is Barbara Dawson. She lived in Bristol, Florida, a town about an hour away from us. 

Barbara Dawson (Photo: Tallahassee Democrat)

Ms. Dawson died yesterday at Calhoun Liberty Hospital in Blountstown, Florida. She was transported there Sunday night by ambulance after complaining of stomach pain.  On Monday morning the attending physician at the community not-for-profit hospital discharged her.  When Ms. Dawson complained and stated she felt she needed to stay because she did not feel well, hospital staff banned her and had her arrested.

Blountstown police were called to the hospital just before 5 am Monday morning and officers put Ms. Dawson in handcuffs and escorted her from the building, but Ms. Dawson didn’t even make it into the patrol car before she collapsed. She later was pronounced dead. The cause of death has been ruled blood clots to the lungs.

The local news have so far made hay of Ms. Dawson’s body size, the number of times she’s sought medical treatment from local hospitals, and her behavior at the hospital that some see as disruptive but to me looks like someone trying to stand up for herself.  Why does all that matter anyway?

It’s Christmas, the holiest time of year for Christians, and that man whose birth we’re celebrating said that all are precious and worthy.

Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

But we’re not all precious, are we? If black, or fat, or old, or lack health insurance, if dare speak up for ourselves, then we are not as worthy. Then it’s OK to deny care, disparage us, arrest us, and then, when when we die, throw up up your hands and say, “oh well, I tried.”

Here’s a news flash, people: Jesus doesn’t care if there is or isn’t a “War on Christmas,” but he does care that we love and take care of each other. 

Matthew 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Rest in peace, Ms. Dawson. 

39 thoughts on “Wait a Minute, I thought Jesus Said We Were All Precious

  1. Whatever happened to the customer, or in this case patient, is always right?! They should’ve listened to her and addressed her needs. This is a very sad case. RIP.

  2. A very sad story. You are right to be indignant at the hospital’s behavior. Medical staff are supposed to be the ones who are there to help people but obviously they don’t feel a need to help everyone, just those they deem worthy. They should see themselves from the patient’s perspective.

  3. Even if she was difficult, even if she was downright nasty—and I am totally NOT saying that she was—EVERYONE deserves good medical care. And so many times people are dismissed for trying to advocate for themselves.

    Thanks for caring about and posting about these things. I always appreciate that you come down solidly on the side of compassion and social justice.

      1. Huh. The things you learn about people! 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful holiday, however you may or may not celebrate it. I look forward to “reading” more of you!

    1. Totally agree. Maybe this lady has had on-going health problems that were never addressed which is why she kept seeking help. Many people get classified as difficult when they seek help repeatedly and the systems we live under fail to respond adequately. Of course, some people are just plain difficult, but you are right – they all deserve good care too. xXx

  4. Our main job is to love and take care of each other no matter what one looks like, one’s age, size, color, or anything else. Just love each other and take care of each other. some people are rater disruptive but they still need care and someone to actually listen to them. Thank you for this post. I think if the doctors had listened the first time she went in, they could have fixed what was wrong and she wouldn’t have had to keep going bsck.

    1. No, it’s far too common. I remember the LA hospital that dumped homeless people out because they didn’t want to have to cover the cost of their care.

  5. “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ ~Matthew 25:40 New International Version (NIV)

  6. Jesus may have said we’re all precious. But many of his followers haven’t adopted that same philosophy for themselves. As a 50+ Hispanic male with no wife or children, I know I’m on the lowest rung of the human food chain, according to law enforcement, politicians and the medical community. It’s why I don’t trust any of them. I know the police would never help me, but they’ve been quick to stop me for an expired inspection sticker or traveling 5 miles over the speed limit. That’s also why I have absolutely no idea who I’m going to vote for in next year’s presidential elections – if I even vote at all! No one, but no one, amidst the Washington elite is looking out for the average person.

    What happened to Mrs. Dawson is emblematic of the legacy of racial bias in this country and especially in the Southeastern U.S. But I believe what goes around, comes around. Even though I’m certain Mrs. Dawson had more to contribute to the community around her, she’s much better off now than dealing with incompetent, bigoted hospital staff and police officials. The memory of her will haunt those who viciously drove her into the ground.

  7. This is a wonderful tribute to Ms.Dawson. Thank you fur making sure her story was told and she is remembered. And thank you especially fur reminding is of the most important thing of all – that we obey the Word of God and love our neighbors!

  8. I hate to say this …but it’s true..if Jesus were alive today in America..he’d die in a hail of bullets from the cold, cowardly hands of a fake american christian..who would then claim “stand your ground” as his defense because he thought Jesus’ message threatened him..

  9. Poor woman. Feeling really sorry for her. You are right, it would be much more appropriate if the people from the hospital would apologise and admit that they have made a mistake. Not only at Christmas! If that woman wouldn’t have argued and tried to stay. She would have died quietly on the way home. And then the public might not have heard of the case. I guess the hospital management doesn’t like the bad publicity. But there’s no way to make it look better.

  10. So sad. I worked as an RN for 30+ years before retiring. Let nobody tell you that hospitals are anything but for profit businesses. I worked ther. I know how they operate. They are shameless. I hope she enjoys Christmas with her Saviour this year. RIP.

  11. I agree with Susan all hospital are there to make a profit and when they don’t they get closed I know I live in a small town and we have had one closed/bought out by a bigger place that makes a profit. I too am an RN retired and that is wrong what that did to that poor woman.

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