We had to remove the article quoted from the Washington Post

titled "Shady Grove Doctors Warn of Hospital Lapses"
By Avram Goldstein, Washington Post Staff Writer, published Sunday, October 17, 1999; Page C01.

It may be available in the Post's archives. We'll check it out, but of course you have to pay them something for it It may still be available on the Post at:

We have asked the Post's lawyer to explain why they bothered in this instance:


November 17, 2000


What a waste of your and the Post's time to find and respond to our making a very old article available to people. I wonder if this isn't akin to censorship. If someone comes into my house and wants to see a print out of the article or a copy from my Post subscription, am I allowed to show it to them? If so, how is this any different? No money or profit is involved here, just making available a news article to people who might we interested.

I would like a response.

Walter Teague (Web Administrator for

Michele McMahon wrote:

> November 17, 2000

> Dear Adminstrator for Metro DC Committee of Correspondence( :
> It has recently come to our attention that Metro DC Committee of
> Correspondence has reproduced and distributed via the Internet copies of
> an article from's service. We found the article in
> question at:

> . [I have since removed the article, ed.]

> While we appreciate your interest in this article and in
>, it is our understanding that Metro DC Committee of
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Essentially the article said the doctors at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, were angry over what they say are rampant errors committed by overworked hospital employees, and said "patient safety is being threatened by deteriorating care at the Rockville facility." The article continued with the doctor's view that if there were problems, it was the other staff, those who were complaining of shortages. The article then went on to characterize the nursing staff saying "they share the doctors' concerns" and "adding they have complained about their workloads for years. Some nurses are stretched if they are assigned more than six patients, but there have been instances when Shady Grove nurses each had 11 patients at a time on night shifts, doctors and nurses said." "Our patients are continuing to receive short shrift where their care is concerned due to the inadequacies of our staffing," 11 nurses said in a December letter to Shady Grove's administration.

Then the article quoted the hospital's owner and gave many example of errors, but still left the impression it was somehow everyone and no one's responsibility. After many horror stories, the author ended with: "There is no nurse-to-patient ratio required by national accrediting agencies or state laws. But Recent studies have indicated that hospitals with fewer nurses per patient have more complications with patients recovering from surgery, said John Eisenberg of the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.

"We're finding that the cost-cutting that is going on is, in some instances, cutting out more than fat," he said. "It's cutting out some of the muscle and bone of health care delivery.""

We had included this article on our web site so anyone interested could see how the press handled a complex problem by clouding it over, even when they had the information. Clearly, there were and are problems and clearly much better could be done for both patient's and staff. However, the Washington Post once again takes the "owners" side and thus needs to hide the facts.

Walter Teague (web editor)

This is NOT by the Washington Post Company - feel free to quote if full, Walter Teague