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April 16, 1978 - Image 13

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-04-16

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The Michigan Daily-Sunday, April 16, 1978-Page 13


Widow to sue

with Wire Reports .
The widow of a victim caught in the
wave of breathi failures at Ann Arbor
Veterans Hospital in 1975 is filing a $1.9
million negligence suit against the
Q( a Lee Blame, in a suit to be filed
tomorrow by local attorney. George
Sallade, alleges that V.A. hospital em-
ployees "did perform surgery, admin-
siter treatment, or more aptly
Regents to
consd er
rep. plan
A proposal which would provide for
student representation on the Univer-
sity Board of Regents is expected to be
considered by the Board at their
meeting this Thursday.
The proposal, submitted by Michigan
Student Assembly (MSA) Student
Representative to the RegentsComm it-
tee members James Say and Timothy
O'Neill, would create a liaison between
the Regents and the students of the
THE PROPOSED representative
would not have a vote on the body, but
would be able to participate in the
Regents' deliberations and would have
the same access to material that
Regents currently have.
The eight Regents are elected, state-
wide to eight-year seats each, in which
they oversee the administration of the
University. They meet for several days
each month. Major campus ad
ministrative and policy decisions are
subject to their approval.
The MSA plan calls for the at-large
election of a representative by the
students, but committee members say
they are prepared to offer alternative
methods of selection, should the Regen-
ts reject their initial one.
SAY AND O'NEILL said students do
not now have adequate access to the
Regents, and that a pepresentative
would act as a student adyocate on the
body. Many of the student interest
grups could funnel their concerns
through a student representative, they
Similar proposals have been brought
before the Regents in the past, but each
time the Regents have dismissed the
Regend Deane Baker (R-Ann Arbor)
said he does not support the proposal
for several reasons, among them that
students are only one "interest" group
concerned with the University.
"IF ONE interest group were given a
special position, then others would ask
for it," said Baker. Among the other in-
terest groups, he said, are the faculty
and University employees.
While Baker suggested students
could offer their own candidate for a
regular elected Regent post, Say said
that it would be impractical for a
student to try for such a post because
during the eight-year term, the student
would probably cease being a student.
"One of the major differences bet-
ween the other groups and students is
that the student representative would
act as the voice of the consumer," Say

said. "The other groups are closer to
the employees of the company rather
than the consumers of the product and
that's the critical difference."
Say and O'Neill have done extensive
research on student representative
plans at other state universities across
the country. Say, a second-year law
student, said similar plans in other
states have worked well over the past
several years.
"It's obviously well done and well
prepared," Regent David Laro (R-
Flint) said of the MSA committee's
research. But Laro added, "My best
guess is that it's going to find difficult
times in terms of passage."
Malaria has claimed the lives of
more people in the world than any
other disease, according to the
National Geographic Society.

mistreatment and grossly ne
care to the decedent Bennie
eventually contributing to or ac
the sole proximate cause or ca
his death."
three basic types of neglige
medical mistreatment on the pa
hospital; causing three se
breathing failures, performing
and diagnosis negligently and d
substandard care to Blaine.
Gentacicin, an antibiotic
Pavulon, the muscle relaxant
ted of having caused the br
failures nurses Filipino Narc
Leonora Perez were tried fo
administered to Blaine severa
during his hospital stay. Althou
drugs are normally safe when

rgligent moderation, they have been knownt
Blaine, cause respiratory failure.
cting as According to the court brief, the V
auses of staff "owed to (Blaine) the duty(
having known the dangers of (Ge
alleges tamicin) and its having a toxic effect.
ence or Despite Blaine's repeated breathin
rt of the failures, "no one at the hospital wa
eparate alert enough to connect the dangers(
surgery the extensive use of these drugs unt
delivery his death was imminent," the brief co
c, and THOUGH BLAINE'S breathin
suspec- failures were not directly responsib
eathing for his death, they were an importa
iso and factor, according to Sallade.
r, were The brief charges also that because
al times negligence in diagnosis and surgery o
igh both , Blaine, additional and debilitatir

to A first operation on July 21, 1975 sup-
posedly ruled out the possibility of
'A Blaine having cancer, but this
of diagnosis was unsubstantiated. After
n- Blaine's death on August 28, a record
was filed which indicated that Blaine's
ng colon had indeed been cancerous.
as BLAINE AGAIN underwent surgery
of on July 22, to correct an error made the
til day before, according to the brief.
n- FIVE DAYS LATER, another
operation was performed, involving
'g four different procedures. Two of these

for $1.9 million.

procedures were necessitated by
inadequate work done during the
second operation.
Blaine underwent a final operation on
August 26. This was "totally
necessitated by the negligent and
careless manner in which the previous
three had been carried out," according
to the brief. Blaine died on August 28.
According to an affidavit signed by
Blaine's widow and sister, he was not
kept clean. His bedclothes were fouled,
as hospital staff rarely emptied and

changed the bag used to collect his fecal
matter. "On more than one occasion,"
reads the affidavit, a relative asked
that the bag be changed, but the request
was continually ignored."
On one occasion, hospital staff
ignored the cries of alarm by Blaine's
wife and sister about the presence of
splintered pieces of glass in his bed, ac-
cording to the affidavit. "Were it not for
the persistence of the patient's wife and
sister, the glass might have stayed in
his bed until he died."


used in

sdrgery was necessitated.



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