Seriously. You have got to be kidding me. What the hell is wrong with the people in this state? The people running this state?
(Edit 12/21: I think the link to the news story is out of date now. It was a story on the South Carolina House of Representatives bill on immigration reform that would make it a felony offense for a doctor, nurse or other public health official to give any medical care, outside a life or death emergency, to anyone who could not prove that they were a legal resident. I wrote to my state representative, Leon Stavrinakis, about this and he is opposed to what he called making health professionals into "de facto immigration police". If you are opposed to threatening health care providers with jail time, fines and loss of their licenses to practice in this state because they can't do the police's job for them, please write to your state representative and voice your concerns.)
They don't even have a basic understanding of the ethics involved in health care. They really think that if someone shows up in a doctor's office or hospital ER needing care, that the doctors and nurses are going to determine a persons immigration status and then examine the person to make sure that the condition/complaint is not life threatening, tell the person that they will not receive medical care, then call the police to report the person so a sick person in need of medical attention can go to jail.
Where they will then receive medical care because the state can't let some-one in their custody go without medical care.
Let me tell you something about the nurses that I know. We don't give a flying fig leaf about your immigration status. If a human being is standing before us in need of help, we will give help. I don't care if it is emergency treatment to save a life or a couple of stitches to close a cut or a dose of antibiotics to clear up an infection. That is part of what we swear to. That is what is required of us by law under the Nurse Practice Act.
We have laws we must follow in the care and treatment of patients and none of those rules say we may deny care to any person based on immigration status.
Health care workers are usually health care workers because they care about people. All people. Turning them into cops because the federal government can't get it's act together and do something about the illegal immigration problem is not the answer.
And threatening health care workers with arrest and felony charges? What the hell? Seriously? Are they aware of the major nursing shortage going on? Are they aware of doctors driven out of the profession by out of control malpractice insurance costs coupled with the demands of HMO's directing care? The health care professionals in this state are struggling to provide the type of care that all human beings deserve and this is what the State of South Carolina wants to add to the burden?
Felony charges for not doing the INS's job?
Who is the next group I will be required by the state to turn in to the police?
Is that what you want your nurse doing?
Loki sez: Sieg heil South Carolina!