How to View - 2015
Our website was first put on the Internet 18 years ago. It was created, both out of sorrow, as well as out of anger at the Unites States Healthcare System. How could it have been that at one of the country's great hospitals, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in the City of New York, such a medical tragedy could have occured? We have learned much over the years, and are now actively involved in efforts to improve healthcare. Our website is widely known among those involved in efforts to bring change.
"A Death in the Hospital" could not have been built without the program "Fractal Imager." This was the product of a company founded by Dr. Michael Barnsley. He was a student of Benois Mandlebrot, the great mathematician of fractal geometry. Ning Lue, now of Samsung, was a principle designer of the program.
Dr. Barnsley, now of the Mathematical Sciences Institute of the Australian University, developed what was one of the first techniques of compressing large amounts of data that could be loaded into the Internet. This made it possible for us to place on the Internet almost the entire contents of Seth's medical chart. As a result, the reader of our website could see not only our translation of the medical notes, but also the actual notes themselves. With this, the reader could directly follow the inhumane decisions that led to Seth's death.
It has been our decision over the years to keep "A Death in the Hospital" on the Internet. Some have told us to "move on," and "put the tragedy behind us." But our decision is that Seth's (and our) tragedy should not be forgotten and should serve as an example of what is wrong with the U. S. healthcare. We use the caregivers' real names, not to shame them, but to make the website real.
Since the 1990's, the technology of compressing data for the Internet has advanced markedly. Such programs as Jpeg and Tiff have far superseded Fractal Imager. Dr. Barnsley sold his company years ago, and moved back into academia. A no longer available plug-in was needed to obtain our images, and the source code of Fractal Imager is no longer compatible with modern browsers.
And another issue of importance is that we built our website as amateurs. The result is a website that does not have a professional touch. This makes it confusing for the reader.
So, in 2016, we intend to have "A Death in the Hospital" redeveloped. The chart will again be viewable in its entirety. We intend to have this done before the end of 2016, and will post messages in this space to update the reader of our progress.
In the meantime, we would like to thank the numerous individuals who have provided support to us over the years.
Stephanie and Ralph Speken
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Click to view "A Death in the Hospital"