When I first came across this story, I must say that I was completely horrified. It seems that Dr. Cleveland Enmon, a former emergency room doctor at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Stockton, stopped doing CPR and then allegedly stole the dead man’s watch. It was apparently a shiny presidential rolex. A nurse reported the watch missing and security was notified. The doctor later left the building and was recorded throwing something into the bushes. The watch was later found in the same location.
Enmon, 32, of Hermosa Beach is now facing a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the adult children of Jerry Kubena, Sr. The last thing a person should have to worry about when they go to a hospital for care, is the loss of their possessions.
In the civil lawsuit, Kubena's family is suing Enmon as well as St. Joseph's and the hospital's owners Catholic Healthcare West for wrongful death, conspiracy, negligent hiring and supervision. The suit alleges St. Joseph's attempted to cover up Enmon's crime after he was removed.
The family's attorney, Jeff Silvia, told News Ten, "The family is completely appalled. They expected the hospital would have hired a doctor concerned about the well-being of his patient and not about his personal gain. He abandoned his effort to resuscitate their father."
Normally this is not a story that I would blog about, however; the alleged actions of Enmon are so disgusting, that I could not help but to post about it. It is so tempting to hide in a shell and focus on our issues. The ugliness that we are capable of as human beings can be so very hard to take at times.
I have not been able to blog about the terrible beating death in Chicago of an honours student, nor have been able to blog about the rape apologism in the Polanski arrest. There are days when all I see before me is the devaluation and hatred of others. Humans function at a very high level and yet we routinely sink to the lowest common denominator to hurt another. At times there are background issues like poverty, racism, sexism or ableism that serve to explain, if not absolve the behaviour but in the case of Enmon, all I see before me is greed.
We have placed a monetary value to this rolex watch and apparently to Dr. Enmon, that price was worth more than the dignity and life of a fellow human being. We say that life is cheap and incidents like this help to reify that. We are raised to believe that the individual is worth more than community and it is this attitude that serves as a basis for the devaluation of human life. This is why we can walk past the homeless on the street or not give a damn when the senior woman across town does not have enough food to eat.
When we feel a moment of guilt, we may donate a few hours at a shelter or throw a few dollars based on name recognition to a charity but seldom are we inspired to take the next step. To care about another, or to put the best interests of another above ourselves even temporarily, seems to be more than many can do. It saddens me to think of our beautiful earth soaked in blood that never should have been shed. We do not take responsibility for each other and ironically this leads to the death of the individual – the person we claim to care so much about. Humans are social animals. This is an unarguable fact and yet daily through acts of violence, rape, racism, ableism, homphobia, and transphobia, we deny this essential truth. When we commit crimes against one another, we rupture the delicate collective that we are dependent upon.
Enmon stole a watch from a man whose care was entrusted to him. He may or may not have been responsible for his death in the process, but what is certain, is that his alleged actions stem from the inability to see the man lying in front of him, desperate for help, as someone of value. With each breathe we extinguish and each shiny bauble we lust after, we diminish ourselves. Enmon may have acted as an individual but his actions will be felt by all in ways we may not immediately recognize.