No Bail for Ms. Hepatitis C
Last week I wrote about Kristin Diane Parker, a lab tech in Colorado who may have infected up to 5,700 with the Hepatitis C virus. Parker confessed to police that she stole syringes filled with the pain-killer Fentanyl from the OR, shot herself up, put saline in the used syringes and replaced them on the rack in the OR. After getting fired, she admitted she went to work in Colorado Springs where she did the same thing.
Parker was denied bail yesterday. Her parents were in court and offered to have her live with them. But, the Magistrate said, she was living with them when she diverted drugs. He said she was a danger to the community. And did not believe her or her lawyer who tried to say she didn't know she carried the virus. A nurse said she knew.
I think there probably were conditions that would have reasonably assured the safety of the community and her appearance at further proceedings -- like bail conditioned upon her admission to an in-patient drug treatment program.
And while it doesn't bear on bond, my sympathies lie with the patients in the OR who needed pain medication and might have gotten saline instead. [More..]
As I said in my earlier post:
The war on drugs encourages illicit drug use. If Parker had been able to legally get her Fetanyl or heroin, and clean needles, she wouldn't have resorted to this awful switcheroo and 6,000 ordinary citizens would not be at risk of infection with an incurable disease.
So far, 10 cases of Hepatitis C have been confirmed among patients who had surgery at Rose Hospital while Parker worker there. The New York Times reports none have been "definitively linked" to Parker.
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