Sometime in the first or early second week of August, 1993, Laurel Mayer
was then given the responsibilities of being an intern on the Intensive Care
Unit of the Allen Pavilion, a division of Columbia Presbyterian
Now what should this have meant? It should have meant that her role as an intern was basically to watch how senior clinicians were ministering to desperately ill patients – patients hovering between life and death. Any actions that the I.C.U. intern were permitted to take, should have been under the closest supervision by these senior Physicians.
But, a close reading of Laurel Mayer’s deposition reveals just the opposite! A reading of her own words reveals that she was given the responsibilities of a Physician, fully trained and seasoned in critical care Medicine. It was as though at her graduation from Medical School she was told, “You are now a Physician. You can do anything in Medicine and Surgery -even Neurosurgery. Here’s the knife.”
When Seth arrived in the Intensive Care Unit at around 2pm on August 24, 1993, Laurel Mayer indicated that she was part of a “team,” whose responsibility was to care for him. The resident, Dr. Tom Bertsch did write an order giving the correct direction as to how Seth should have been treated. This order was very brief, but specific and correct. He directed that Seth should have been put deeply asleep. In this deep sleep, Seth would not have been in misery.
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