Thursday, September 23, 2010

THE ANTIDOTE TO EVIL: Individual Responsibility and Accountability and Corporate Liability at Southwest Baptist University

A news story this week (see here), brought a painful reminder of a truth that Southwest Baptist University (SBU) does not wish to discuss:  There was an antidote to the organophosphate pesticide. 

On the day that Marie was acutely poisoned, she and friends asked a multitude of SBU personnel and officials to disclose two simple pieces of information: 
First, who applied the pesticide, which SBU claimed was "non-toxic" and merely a repellent?

And, second, what was the name of the pesticide?
Neither Marie nor her friends ever received an honest, Christian response from the Southwest Baptist University administration and personnel.

Instead, they feigned ignorance, loosed a barrage of self-serving lies, and perpetrated egregious fraud.

If, the day Marie was poisoned, the Southwest Baptist University administration (primarily, the late SBU President and CEO Dr. James Sells and later, his successor, now-Congressman Roy Blunt, who had been an SBU Trustee at the time of Marie's poisoning) and the SBU staff (chiefly, Nurse Nancy Hodges and Director of the Physical Plant Bob Glidwell) had acted responsibly by disclosing the name of Campbell Pest Control, their pesticide applicator for over twenty years, Marie's prognosis would have been very different.

When the Director of Physical Plant Bob Glidwell did finally return from his mysterious, unscheduled, mid-week "vacation" and answered the phone, he mocked Marie (and a witness), laughing openly and saying, "You can't do anything about it now.  You needed to have the tests done within three days."

Mr. Glidwell was referring to the tests which would prove that she had been exposed to organophosphate pesticides, most of which are metabolized within three days of exposure.

It took over two years and a handful of lawyers to finally get the conspirators to reveal the truth: The allegedly "non-toxic" pesticide was, in reality, Diazinon, an organoposphate, a deadly poison and nerve agent, now banned for most residential applications (see here) and, at the time of Marie's poisoning, prohibited by law for indoor applications where people, like Marie and other students, were present.

But, they lied, repeatedly.  

They collaborated, furiously, relentlessly, without remorse, and with full knowledge that they were condemning Marie to injury, disability, and, perhaps, death.

Within hours, according to sworn testimony by the pesticide applicators themselves, Dr. James Sells and his staff had coordinated their assault, passing vicious and unfounded rumors throughout the community to discredit Marie as a person, to deny her medical care, and to evade questions, possible litigation and future liability costs.

They piled on; lie after lie, lie after lie -- for years.  

For decades.

They knew.  

They knew that the pesticide was an organophosphate and that there was an antidote (in fact, several antidotes), which would have alleviated much of Marie's suffering and the subsequent, permanent disability, if the antidote had been administered within hours or even several days.

This month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration  approved Pralidoxime chloride (Protopam Chloride), the organophosphate antidote,  for use in children, nearly 50 years after it was first approved for adults.  

(Please, see the article here.)

There was an antidote then.  That day.  If the administration would have acted responsibly and justly.   

But, they lied; they are still lying.  

To this day, they are still hiding the truth of the suffering that they have caused; they still will not take responsibility for what they have done.
Is this a demonstration of the Christian life?  Is this Christianity?  Is this loving your neighbor?  Is this the Gospel in action?

(And ... please, don't claim Jesus Christ had any part of this evil.)

No, this is corporate corruption, pure and simple. 

There is an antidote to these lies:  Individual accountability and responsibility and  and corporate liability.  This is Marie's objective in requesting the Missouri Baptist Convention investigation of Southwest Baptist University and the Comprehensive Compensation and Care Package (see here).

We will posting details shortly.