Ms. Hepatitis C May Have Infected Patients At Hospital in New York

Ms. Hepatitis C, Kristen Parker, may face more charges. Turns out she worked at a hospital in New York before coming to Colorado. As a precaution, Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, NY is notifying 3,000 patients they should be tested.

No patient at Northern Westchester has been linked yet, but the health department is recommending that anyone who had surgery at the hospital between Oct. 8, 2007 and Feb. 28, 2008 to be tested for the disease.

Parker is being held without bond in Denver.

< The Wise Latina: How The GOP's Obsession With Race Led To The Worst SCOTUS Hearings Ever | Sotomayor Hearing, Day 4, Blog 1 >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    National Spokesperson (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 06:05:22 PM EST
    For ending the war on drugs. Hope that she gets out of jail before she dies so that she can give testimony across the US about the dangers to society on the WOD and in criminalizing drugs abuse.

    She is amoral. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Fabian on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 06:45:07 PM EST
    Did she lie on her employment applications?  How did her previous record of on the job theft not disqualify her from her most recent job?

    It will interesting to see the facts come to light.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#6)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 07:00:37 PM EST
    Drug addiction will do that to a person. Anything in the way between them and getting high, not to mention collateral damage, loses all significance.

    Now if all drugs were legal and abuse was treated as a medical rather than a criminal issue, ticking time bombs like this would just not happen.

    Sure there will always be insane people, and domestic terrorists, but this tragedy is only a result of the WOD, imo.


    I'm sorry (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by rdandrea on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 09:01:32 PM EST
    I don't see this person as a poster child for society's ills.

    I see her as a really awful human being if she actually did what was alleged.

    I realize that those cases aren't mutually exclusive, but I think we might be looking at a narcissistic, addict personality that could look no farther than getting high.

    Not all drug addicts are victims.  Sometimes it's their victims who are the real victims.


    Obviously (none / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 10:12:43 PM EST
    You have not been around addicts. Particularly addicts who cannot afford to pay for their habits.

    Ok, so WOD isn't working (none / 0) (#14)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:46:02 AM EST
    how about adding into your commentary a bit about how health care access could help also. I can see the argument side of legalizing drugs etc, but without proper treatment available to all . . .

    Some people need proper treatment, and until they can overcome their problem, they need safe alternatives. It seems to me, the drugs she was taking would be ones that need proper supervision, which I don't feel an addict can offer themselves.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#20)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:33:17 AM EST
    I have always held the position that drug abuse is a medical problem not a criminal one. Treatment etc, should be evaluated and handled by doctors and health workers, not jailers and courts, imo.  

    NY Hospital is an actual hospital. (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 06:44:15 PM EST
    You might want to add the word "a" before "NY Hospital" in your title since New York Hospital could get upset and patients who've been there could also be unnecessarily alarmed that they may have been exposed.

    thanks, will do (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 06:57:06 PM EST
    3000 doses in NY, 5700 in CO. (none / 0) (#2)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 06:41:43 PM EST
    8700 doses. That we're aware of.

    Man alive, if not for the WOD she'd have just bought them for just pennies apiece at her local 7-11.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 07:04:06 PM EST
    Just like the alcoholic gets his or her nighttrain at the corner liquor store.

    As I mentioned in the other thread, do you think that if  Ms. Hepatitis C was an alcoholic would she have stolen all the ethyl alcohol and replaced it with water?

    Crickets on that one, huh sarc.


    She might have. (none / 0) (#10)
    by JamesTX on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 11:52:17 PM EST
    So many arguments on this issue take bizarre and unusual cases and reason about them as if they are the norm. In social research, that is called "creaming", or taking the select few cases which support your theory and pretending they are representative of most everybody. Arguments about the WOD -- either way -- which are based on the assumption she is a typical case are flawed. Some alcoholic, under some conditions just might have done such a thing as you suggest. Those conditions might include things such as intense, irrational, violent, absolute and nonsensical prohibition based in a history of lies, racism, myth, folklore, medical profiteering, and religious temperance morality. In fact, the history of alcohol prohibition is full of things just as bizarre as this case. People drank rubbing alcohol and methyl alcohol...and got sick or died! They devised incredible schemes to get alcohol or make it. They went to all lengths. They killed. They maimed. And they had collateral damage that would make this case look tame. Such behaviors in pursuit of alcohol are practically nonexistent today, because there is an easier way to get it. One need not kill anybody. The point is, I suspect most people categorized as "addicts" would not do what this person did. There is more to this case than "addiction", as several people have mentioned. "Addiction", as the term is typically used, tends to overlap with those other personality problems, like irresponsibility, dishonesty, and endangering others. But this case is a real outlier.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#11)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:03:08 AM EST
    During prohibition..

    Without looking at the data, I am willing to wager that during any prohibition (WOD) the number of addicts who steal in order to support their habit makes the number of addicts who do not steal permitted substances statistically irrelevant.


    I am not sure (none / 0) (#13)
    by JamesTX on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:27:21 AM EST
    what you are getting at squeaky, but based on your previous posts, I tend to agree! The WOD creates the damage. I believe that. The damage done by the drug alone is small compared to the damage done by the laws. There are many ways to support that, not to mention our little natural experiment in the early twentieth century with booze.

    I have issues with the term "addict". The stereotypical "addict" is but a small part of the people harmed by drug laws. There are legitimate medical and health needs for substances that are severely curtailed and lead to ruinous legal complications for those who illegally obtain them. There are people who might habitually use drugs that don't fit the stereotype of the "addict", and won't behave like "addicts". There is wide variation in drug use and drug behavior. The "addict" who catches the public's attention is not, I think, the typical consumer of many drugs. The "addict" catches our attention specifically because of their irresponsible and dangerous behavior. There is little evidence that the "addict" personality is due to drugs. I would suggest most of those people have some personality problem that would manifest in some other way if drugs were not there. We don't talk about how all drivers are insane based on the behavior of the kid weaving through freeway traffic on a motorcycle at 120 mph. Nowhere near all people who might use drugs, even habitually, behave in desperate and dangerous ways.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#21)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:39:21 AM EST
    I think that drug abuse is a problem, not drug use. Although, I have had several arguments with heroin addicts who held that it was the drug, not them. Hard to believe, though, as I know some who maintain casual use or are able to manage regular use without it ruining their life.

    Slippery stuff. I tend to think that apart from the abusers you define there are genetic predispositions that make some more susceptible to addiction than others.

    Many teens smoke three or four cigarettes a day and never get addicted, and many have a couple drinks every day but are not alcoholics. I do not think that this is just due to lack of personality problems.


    I think (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by JamesTX on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:21:17 PM EST
    cigarettes are a good comparison for the idea. Yes, some people habitually use some drugs and develop cravings that can be very powerful. And yes, it probably has something to do with genetic or biological disposition, or even perhaps diathesis-stress. But the consequences of that would be something like the consequences of smoking without the WOD. Some people die. Money is wasted. But that is lot different from what results in the current situation. The individual is totally and completely destroyed by the laws and their consequences. I wish some friends I know wouldn't smoke, but I don't think it would help to make them buy black market cigarettes for $300 a pack, and then give them 20 years in prison and destroy their lives. It wouldn't help any of us to do that. We would just have more human misery and more expense.

    For example many businesses keep their pens, pencils and legal pads, etc., under close supervision, if not lock and key, to thwart employee theft.

    For another example, liquor was the target of theft at the restaurant I worked at, all those years ago.

    Knives, forks and spoons, too. Heck, 5 gal tubs of ice cream were disappearing as well.

    Clothes hangers, even, from the wardrobe trailer on a feature I worked on.

    All affordable and widely and legally available stuff, but stolen by employees anyway.

    8700 doses gone missing. Are we sure she used it all?


    How long did she work there? (none / 0) (#15)
    by MrConservative on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:46:05 AM EST
    Dunno. (none / 0) (#22)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:58:33 PM EST
    Although, to be fair, it does not look like she stole 8700 doses.

    She stole a bunch, to be sure, but because there is no way to ascertain which specific patients got her dirty needles they're notifying every patient that had surgery during her employment.

    Apparently her awesome MySpace pages are still up...


    BTW (none / 0) (#16)
    by MrConservative on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:46:44 AM EST
    It's kind of funny that I looked up her name on Wikipedia and only found a character from Nightmare on Elm Street..

    Throw the book at her (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:18:10 AM EST
    Being addicted to drugs is one thing.  While it does not excuse stealing drugs from a hospital, it gives a reason - the desperation and need can drive people to do crazy things.

    That being said, however, it took some foresight and planning to replace the vials with saline, which shows she knew what she was doing was wrong.  And now her actions may have set off a chain of hundreds, if not thousands of people, becoming ill with a potentially life-threatening disease. These planned acts are truly reprehensible.

    Sorry, the War on Drugs cannot be used to excuse every bad and illegal behavior done by members of our society.

    All I know is... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:39:19 AM EST
    Whenever I need pain meds for necessity instead of pleasure, I'm still gettin' 'em on the street where it is safe.

    The crime here is sullying the needles and depriving patients of there meds...it don't bother me that she stole dope she couldn't get legally, but the willful endangerment is serious.

    The said on the new last night... (none / 0) (#19)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 09:43:09 AM EST
    ...that she also worked at a hospital down in Texas as well.  

    Sounds like her baby daddy is the one giving the authorities all the clues.  

    I have to say (none / 0) (#23)
    by Maggie Mae on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:05:19 PM EST
    This is one of the only times I'm glad I don't have insurance and can't go to the hospital for any kind of treatment.