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October 11th, 2010

Evergreen Gridley Healthcare Center in California is being sued for allegedly not properly treating an elderly man and then forcing treatment on him against his wishes.

William Paul Bonds, now deceased, was admitted to Evergreen in 2009 because of “functional decline”. Bonds’ doctor had ordered that he receive medication to control fluid buildup in his body. When Evergreen did not administer the medication as instructed the patient’s body began to swell. Bonds’ doctor then ordered a new medication be given but it was not administered until the following day.

“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 lawsuit states. “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.”

According to the suit, Bonds stopped eating meals, and when he had not had a bowel movement for three days he was given a laxative and then a suppository–which he did not want–but neither helped. Bonds was on “comfort care” and was not to be given unnecessary treatment–especially treatment he did not want. But the next day a registered nurse order a licensed vocational nurse to give bonds another enema. Bonds told the LVN he did not want the treatment and she complied with his wishes. The LVN was then fired.

Later, the suit states, the nursing home abuse continued when the RN obtained two staff members who restrained Bonds and despite his “protestations and screams” forced the enema on him “causing him extreme physical and emotional distress.”

Bonds died in Gridley the following month after the incident.

Joe Earley, the attorney for Bonds’ daughter, who filed the lawsuit, said since 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.


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