In brief: Last week, the plug was pulled on 6 month old Sun Hudson after "40 facilities with newborn intensive care units" would not accept him. He had no money to pay for his care. His guardian opposed the removal of the tubes. The 2004 directory by the American Hospital Association indicates that there are 38 pediatric intensive care units in Texas.
The Hospital Corporation of America claims seven Texas hospitals with neonatal intensive care units as part of their "family of hospitals." This company was founded by Senator Frist's brother and father. In 2003, it was reported that Sen Frist and his wife owned 26,000,000 Dollars worth of stock in the company. His brother owns several hundred million dollars of stock.
A more detailed version with sources under the fold - - - b.b.bustard
Many conservatives in Texas defend then Gov. Bush's signing a law that permits hospitals to end life support even if the guardian or family oppose such action. (At that time he did not yet own the fake ranch, so there was no big photo-op of the trip from Crawford to the capital.) They argue that the previous law allowed this to occur within 72 hours, and that Bush was more pro-life as the law he signed insisted that the guardian be given 10 days notice to find another institution to care for the patient. This argument is made even though the legislature was dominated by "right to life" conservatives.
It was under the provisions of this law that Texas Children's hospital removed 6 month old Sun Hudson from the ventilator that was keeping him alive. Texas Children's, which refused to let any reporters see the infant's condition despite the invitation issued by the infant's mother/guardian. This was reported in the Houston Chronicle of March 15, which went on to say that the hospital "contacted 40 facilities with newborn intensive care units, but none would accept Sun."
The website of U.S News & World Report has the American Hospital Association's "Directory of America's Hospitals." A search for pediataric intensive care units in Texas lists 38 facilities.
The Hospital Corporation of America was founded by Sen Frist's father and borther. It is the largest hospital chain in the country that is for profit. It has been very profitable. Thomas Frist Jr, the Senator's brother, is worth 960 million according to Fortune's 400 richest Americans of 2004.
Doug Ireland wrote in L.A. Weekly in the January 16, 2003 edition that "HCA violated both the law and medical ethics when, as Forbes put it 'the company increased medicare billings by exaggerating the seriousness of the illnesses they were treating.'" They were robbing Medicare. As Karl Rove was engineering Frist's ascension to Majority Leader, the Federal Gov't suddenly settled a multi-year investigation into HCA. HCA agreed to pay $1.7 Billion.
If you look at HCA's website you will find their "Family of Hospitals". It owns quite a few in Texas. Seven of those hospitals have neonatal intensive care units. Seven of those hospitals presumably were part of those 40 hospitals that refused to care for Sun Hudson. Sun had no health insurance and no money. His mother opposed removal of the ventilator. Seven Frist hospitals said "Tough Luck."
What lovely people these Frists are.
(Hospitals are Methodist Children's, Medical City Dallas, Medical Center of Plano, Las Palmas Medical Center, Las Colinas Medical, Bayshore Medical, Memorial Hermann)