After five, six, eight or more (?) deaths at a nursing home in Hollywood, FL, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, it seems like a pretty good bet someone (or someones) is/are going to prison for gross negligence.
According to Hollywood Fire Rescue and Police, 115 people were evacuated Wednesday morning at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, located at 1200 N 35 Ave., due to intense heat and no power. Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief confirmed five people have died, but it remains unknown whether the deaths are related to the heat.Anecdotally for everyone in the medical field, 90% of nursing homes are sketchy enterprises at best, and in the aftermath of a hurricane, nobody's getting a mulligan for what amounts to mass murder.
At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Hollywood Police Chief Tom Sanchez said the call was made shortly after 4 a.m. referencing a heart attack.
The mayor added that three deaths occurred at the nursing home, and three others were pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital.
Sanchez said, “Right now the building has been sealed off. We’re conducting a criminal investigation inside. We believe at this time they may be related to the loss of power in the storm. We’re conducting a criminal investigation, not ruling anything out at this time.”
As a precautionary measure, Sanchez said he assigned officers to check the other 42 nursing homes throughout the city to make certain they’re properly taking care of the elderly.
Pity the FL Penal Code probably doesn't encompass taking the guilty out and holding them under water until they stop thrashing around, or feeding them to 'gators, but whatever they get dealt, it'll probably be better than what would happen if the relatives of the deceased were left to mete out a fitting recompense.
People dying from heat and neglect after surviving the storm is simply unconscionable, and regardless of earthly penalties, somebody so negligent in the care of elderly and debilitated patients entrusted to them deserves an eternity of suffering in a special circle of hell.