Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Death sentence for being elderly and insolvent?

I was horrified to read about this 93 year old man in Bay City Michigan, who died of hypothermia, after his power was callously cut off in mid January. A city utility worker had just recently, installed a electricity restricting device that limits power use and blows out like a fuse if it goes over a set level, because he owed, "over $1,000". Power stays off until the limiter is reset. The power company keeps it there for 10 days, then shuts the power all the way off if the bills aren't yet paid or set up to be paid. It's not clear whether or not anyone contacted this guy to tell him how the thing worked or if he even knew that it was there.

The manager of Bay City Power, Robert Belleman, said that their policies will be reviewed, but he doesn't believe they did anything wrong.
"I've said this before and some of my colleagues have said this: Neighbors need to keep an eye on neighbors," Belleman said. "When they think there's something wrong, they should contact the appropriate agency or city department."

They should be ashamed of themselves for shutting the power off and denying heat to an elderly person in this frigid weather, in effect killing him, -not trying to put the blame on the neighbors...

When Marvin Schur's body was eventually discovered by a neighbor, it was below freezing in his house. His furnace was off and the insides of his windows were covered with ice. He died, "a slow, painful death", according to the medical examiner who performed the autopsy.


blogs@yaps4u.net said...

Hard to believe that this kind of thing can happen in todays society. The number of deaths due to the cold weather in the UK rises each year, yet no one seems to notice, or more to the point, no one seems to care.
Makes you wonder just how fast society is breaking down.
As a father of 3 kids, (9-14), it makes me think what it will be like when they are my age.
Nice article,

Shop Girl* said...

That's terrible... what kind of a world are we living in?

(Thanks for the Twitter follow!)

Renee said...

Chris, I completely agree. It's like we're all so desensitized and numb from seeing so much suffering everywhere... I can't help but think that it can only get better from here, every generation is more enlightened. There really is hope for the next generation!

Shop Girl, Ya, it's a cold, cold world.
(Ditto on the follow!)