On December 10, 2010, I wrote, “Wife’s Visitation in Jeopardy: The Recycling of Gary Harvey’s Holiday Restrictions,” which began:
By Carrie K. Hutchens on November 7th, 2009
Gary Harvey is the brain injured man from New York, who seems to have his own private “death panel” determined to kill him off and to make his and his wife’s life as miserable as possible, until the sentence is carried out. One might think it could get no worse than it has been. One should never think such thoughts, lest one (or more) be shown that — for however bad — things can actually get worse!
Though it wasn’t Sara sitting on the so-called ethics committee that determined Gary should be starved and dehydrated to death — the Guardian and County (who actually were involved in the attempted death of an innocent person) — have suggested she is a danger to her husband.
Huh? Did I miss something there?
Kinda reminds me of the deal with my gas cap vs car warranty. Every year, almost to the date, I suddenly didn’t know how to put on my gas cap, it caused the engine light to go on and dealers wanted to charge me for that information. Of course, the rest of the year, I did just fine. I put it on good. Still, it must have been my fault, it couldn’t be a defect or a setup.
Let’s see, the Harvey visitation was in jeopardy in November of 2009, followed by another jeopardy in December of 2010. Then comes September 2011 (or there about), when someone (unbeknownst to Sara) called the police and said that Gary’s life was in danger by some unknown person. Sara didn’t have a thing to do with any of it, but guess who got punished? Sara & Gary. Visits were stopped during the alleged investigation? How convenient to have an excuse and something to blame her for even though it wasn’t her blame to be held responsible for.
It quickly (or should have) became obvious that Sara didn’t have anything to do with the call, but that didn’t matter. It must somehow be her fault and even if it wasn’t — it was a good excuse to put a camera in Gary’s room. So now, we have a camera and a guard. When will they dress Sara up as Hannibal Lector for her visits? That’s what many of us wonder.
The road has indeed been bumpy since the phone call incident, but it has recently gotten even worse.
Sara apparently submitted a report alleging neglect (regarding a visible wound/sore on her husband) sometime around May 31, 2012. She was immediately accused of breaking the visitation and privacy rules (whistle-blowing?). Would any be surprised to learn that the already cruel visitation restriction has been replaced by ABSOLUTELY NO VISITATION allowed by Sara Harvey?
I wasn’t surprised either.
Sara pays for the insurance that pays the hospital. The hospital sure doesn’t have any trouble billing that insurance that she pays for. She’s certainly good enough to pay the premiums, but I guess that’s all she is good for. Beyond the premium paying, she apparently doesn’t count for anything in their book, it would seem. She certainly isn’t treated as though she is Gary’s wife. There certainly isn’t any compassion. I mean, how dare she worry about Gary or ask questions or try to make sure he gets the quality care her insurance is paying for? How dare she wish to visit Gary? Just who does she think she is? His wife or something?
I went to the St. Joseph Hospital website and read their mission statement, which says in part:
St. Joseph’s Hospital, a Catholic health facility, is a voluntary not-for-profit community general hospital founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester in cooperation with the physicians and citizens of Elmira, NY. The St. Joseph’s Hospital community, by maintaining a deep respect for the dignity of each person, strives to heal, as Jesus did, in mind, body and spirit, all who come to us.
As a Catholic and one who has been involved in writing and investigating the Gary and Sara Harvey case for several years now — I’m offended by the mission statement. Jesus would never ever treat either Gary or Sara Harvey as they have been treated.
- Jesus would never have isolated Gary in a room with little to no stimulation.
- Jesus would never leave Gary constantly lying in a bed, rather than putting him in his chair.
- Jesus would never have left Gary lying in a bed 24/7 without physical therapy.
- Jesus would never have tried to get the court to agree to starving and dehydrating Gary.
There are a great many things that Jesus would not have done or do, including being so cruel as to restrict visitation between husband and wife, and then cut it off, such as has been done.
The Catholic church holds marriage vows sacred, yet here is a so-called Catholic hospital that is acting as though Sara Harvey is some stranger, rather than Gary’s wife. As such, Sara is not treated with compassion. She is being treated as the enemy, rather than a wife desperately fighting for her husband. This is treating people with dignity?
In the Catholic hospitals I’ve visited, there was this overwhelming sense of love, warmth and compassion. It was as though Jesus was present in those halls and in those who served his sick and most vulnerable. St. Joseph Hospital resembles none of that with regard to Gary and Sara Harvey.
The hospital can say what it wants, but if it took the time to really go over the Harvey case, it might see that it has been judging and treating Sara based on rumors, half-truths, distortions rather than actual facts, and poor representation by some of those whom she turned to for help, rather than the truth. Jesus wouldn’t make that mistake, nor would he suffer from tunnel vision or see Sara as a non-person just good for paying the insurance premiums and nothing more.
Jesus knows there is no reason for Gary Harvey to lay alone in that room of isolation, away from the wife he loves and meant to live with until the end. Jesus knows a great many things about this case and about those who have acted wrongly and cruelly. There will be no hiding the truth from Him.
Jesus is no doubt proud of Sara for trying to help her husband, Gary, and doesn’t feel her efforts are frivolous. She is, after all, in a desperate fight for the life of her husband against a system, a big hospital and several attorneys.
Frivolous? I’d call the retaliation and need by the system to torture and control Gary and Sara Harvey frivolous. It is self-indulging and unnecessary. The cruelty is sickening. It’s time to move on. It’s time to stop making Sara pay for being a wife fighting for her husband. It’s time to send Gary home where he will receive the compassion, love and care that he deserves.
May St. Joseph Hospital step up to the plate and help right the wrong started by the county and others. It could. No doubt, it is what Jesus would do!
I’m Sick of the Gary & Sara Harvey Case — Time to Move On
Carrie K. Hutchens
June 25, 2012