ChicoER had an article about allegations of abuse at Evergreen Gridley Healthcare Center in California. William Bonds alleges he was not properly treated and was forced treatment on him that he didn’t want. According to the suit, Bonds, now deceased, was admitted to Evergreen Gridley Healthcare Center on Sept. 8, 2009, because of "functional decline." The lawsuit, filed by Bonds’ daughter Shirleen Latham states when Bonds was admitted, his doctor had ordered that he receive Aldactone, a diuretic to control the buildup of excess body fluids, and leads to death if untreated.
Evergreen did not administer any diuretic until Sept. 11, and as a result, Bonds’ body began to swell, especially his legs. That same day, when the patient’s doctor was informed of this problem, he ordered Lasix, but none of it was administered until Sept. 12.
"The several days Mr. Bonds went without a diuretic resulted in severe generalized edema (accumulation of fluids), which became difficult to control and resulted in severe and painful skin blisters," the suit stated. "Furthermore, as a result of the severe edema, Mr. Bonds’ health condition significantly deteriorated and he lost interest in his own health. He subsequently began to refuse health care."
On Sept. 14, Bonds was unable to eat his meals. When he failed to have a bowel movement for several days, he was given a laxative, which did not help. He was dying. Then he was given a suppository, which he did not want and which also had no effect. He became very upset about the suppository because "by this point he simply wanted to be left alone to die as peacefully as possible."
The next day, a registered nurse told a licensed vocational nurse to give Bonds an enema. The licensed vocational nurse reminded the registered nurse that the patient was on "comfort care" and that he was not to be given unnecessary treatment, and especially treatment he did not want.
The RN ordered the LVN to give the enema anyway. The LVN discussed the matter with Bonds, who insisted he did not want the enema. So the LVN complied with his wish. The LVN who disobeyed the RN was fired immediately.
Then the RN got two other staff members, physically restrained the frail and weak Bonds, and despite his "protestations and screams," forced him to have the enema, "causing him extreme physical and emotional distress." This was done, even though the nursing home administration knew "that Mr. Bonds was on comfort care and was mentally capable of refusing consent to any treatment." Bonds was of sound mind, he had the right to deny any treatment he did not want as long as withholding it didn’t jeopardize the health or safety of anyone else.
Evergreen Gridley Healthcare Center is owned by Evergreen Healthcare Management, a company based in the state of Washington. It manages 43 nursing homes, including three in Butte County. Besides the one in Gridley, it manages Twin Oaks in Chico and Olive Ridge Care Center in Oroville.