Atlantic Magazine: “What a Pediatrician Saw Inside a Border Patrol Warehouse.”


(Above: Dr. Dolly Lucio Sevier)

This article in Atlantic Magazine is very informative about conditions inside the Border Patrol warehouse  in McAllen, Texas, and its contents should make any decent American want to march on Washington D.C.

But its closing paragraphs diagnose the sickness manifest in the body politic of our country, a pathology that might just end in a deathbed.

Dr. Sevier had been asking to see a three year old all day and all day the guard had been making excuses why he could not produce the child. “The body” he called her, using military slang.

Sevier made it clear she would wait as long as it took.

(Parens mine)

“(Dr.) Sevier spent years cultivating a physician’s empathetic-but-detached habits of mind. During her medical residency, an 8-year-old rescued from near-drowning arrived at the hospital. For the first time, Sevier had to insert a breathing tube down a child’s throat. Vomit began filling his esophagus and lungs. “Suction,” she commanded without missing a beat, surprising even herself, she told me. It’s what she was supposed to do—how she was supposed to act.

At Ursula, traumatized children with untreated illnesses sat before her. She probed, pressed, and listened. She took notes; she entered their data into a spreadsheet; she compartmentalized. She thought about a social event she’d promised to attend at 6 o’clock.

At 5:53, the guard with the surgical mask brought in the 3-year-old Sevier had requested to see, holding her by the armpits, like a puppy. Thin and subdued, the girl was crying but didn’t turn away. “Underweight, fearful child in no acute distress,” Sevier wrote. “Only concern is severe trauma being suffered from being removed from primary caregiver.”

After the exam, the child lingered, and Sevier offered to hold her. She climbed into the doctor’s lap and fell asleep in less than a minute. The squalor, the lighting, the agents, and the event that evening fell away from Sevier’s consciousness. As if in rebellion against her careful training, her mind shut down, she told me. And for what seemed like an eternity, she sat in vacant silence with the child.”

“…holding her by the armpits, like a puppy.”

Goddamn them all.

Goddamn them all to hell.

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