Recently, my grandmother ended up in a hospital. Now, let me tell you this: If you live in the Boston Area, avoid St. Elizabeth hospital at all cost!!!. As it were, she's had no choice -- she was brought into the emergency room, where they had to immediately drain her lungs of fluids.
First of all, they forgot to tell the personel there that old people have dignity, too. They treated my grandmother like she was sinile (actually, that sounds bad too; sinile people have dignity too!); she may have bad English, but she is 100% in control of her mental faculties. When she complained, they said "Well, m'am, this is a hospital!"; to which she replied, "I worked in a hospital for 40 years, and this is not OK". (My grandmother has been a cardiologist in Russia.)
Then, it went from bad to worse. They had to do a catheterization; before it, a patient cannot have food or drink for something like 10 hours. I call her at 3 p.m., and she tells me they haven't given her water since previous night. The nurse comes in every 15 minutes, and explains that she is very sorry, but that catheterization could still be done that day, so they cannot five her even water. That day she ended up being without liquids for 18 hours! When we talked to the doctor that night, he told us that they knew they would not be doing the procedure that day from when they took he blood at 9 a.m.!!!!!! He swore it would not happen again.
Then, next day, guess what? The same thing was happening! The nurse was telling us, "Look, I know they are not going to do anything today, but officially I cannot do anything". We tried calling the doctor, making him talk to the cardio department -- nothing. Finally, my father had a trully brilliant idea. He said, what if we say that we refuse to have the catherization done today? The nurse said, sure! If you refuse, than it cannot be done today, and we can give her food and drink.
Anyway, my grandmother is scheduled for a heart surgery next week. We succeeded in having her transfered to one of the better hospitals of Boston area. I really hope it won't be like St. Elizabeth.