Ohio Woman, Baby Dies after Refused Treatment at Hospital
By Albert N. Milliron
Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton shared a touching story while on the campaign trail the last few weeks. If we had health care for everyone, things like this wouldn’t happen
Clinton shared, “I remember listening to a story about a young woman in a small town along the Ohio River, in Meigs County, who worked in a pizza parlor,” “She got pregnant, she started having problems. There’s no hospital left in Meigs County, so she had to go to a neighboring county.”
“She showed up, and the hospital said, ‘You know, you’ve got to give us one hundred dollars before we can see you.’ She didn’t have a hundred dollars.”
“So the young woman went back home. The next time she went back, she was in an ambulance. It turned out she lost the baby. She was airlifted to Columbus. And after heroic efforts at the medical center, she died.”
Folks should be angry that this happened in America. Angry about the woman who died? No, The Story, it is inaccurate.
In journalism you are taught never to go on a single source. It is important to confirm your information from as many sources as possible.
Journalists should seek to be fair and truthful in reporting what their sources tell them. Factual accuracy entails checking, and double-checking, facts and fairness involves working diligently to get myriad sides of a story by speaking to multiple sources with different and often varying points of view.
Senator Clinton heard this story from a single source. Candidates like to use, “example stories” that emphasize a position they have taken. Senator Clinton heard this story from a reliable witness, a deputy Sheriff, but failed to check out the story with the Hospital or another source.
Linda M. Weiss, a spokeswoman for the not-for-profit hospital, said the Clinton campaign had never contacted the hospital to check the accuracy of the story.
The hospital is now telling her to cease and desist from telling the story again.
The woman, Trina Bachtel, did die last August, two weeks after her baby boy was stillborn at O’Bleness Memorial Hospital in Athens, Ohio. But hospital administrators said Friday that Ms. Bachtel was under the care of an obstetrics practice affiliated with the hospital, that she was never refused treatment and that she was, in fact, insured.
“We implore the Clinton campaign to immediately desist from repeating this story,” said Rick Castrop, chief executive officer of the O’Bleness Health System.
The story of the tragic death of Trina Bachtel achieved Sen. Clinton’s goal short term but at a cost, a high cost. The story made me start to think about our leaders and the power they wield to shape public opinion and how they must use that power. The consideration does not bode well for Sen. Clinton.
If you noticed I have used source material from both the Left and the Right. One should always check a story from both side of an issue. Like a car accident seen from many angles a persons point of view can be different depending on the Frame or Reference. Yes, Einstein could have been a journalist.
Another example of what not to do is, never use a second hand source when you can go directly to the original source. Senator Clinton took this man at his word, but was he there? No, he was a friend of the uncle of the woman. The Clinton campaign should have talked to a relative of the woman and the hospital before sharing this story around the country. In todays world, facts are checked.
Should you Give the Clinton Campaign a pass? No, Senator Clinton is a lawyer, she knows never to use something called, “hear say”. In addition she has resources available to her to fact check including a Public Relations firm and campaign volunteers. One or two phone calls would have prevented another Clinton “Mis-speak”.