Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

"No Cat Urine" Equals Mayo Clinic Standards?

There's clean. And then there's Mayo Clinic clean.

"No Cat Urine" Equals Mayo Clinic Standards?

During Monday's opening arguments in the trial of “House of Horrors” doc  Kermit Gosnell, his defense attorney, Jack McMahon, defended the deplorable condition of Gosnell’s West Philly abortion clinic. He said the prosecution’s experts unfairly expected Gosnell to uphold  “Mayo Clinic standards” at the clinic he ran for poor women in the “nitty-gritty” neighborhood of tk.

"They don't run an urban clinic; a low-cost, urban, poverty-stricken clinic," McMahon said. “They want to put Mayo Clinic standards on a West Philadelphia clinic. If you want Mayo Clinic standards, go to the Mayo Clinic.”

The way he said it, you’d think that every non-Mayo Clinic abortion center is as filthy as Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Center was at 38th and Lancaster. Here’s how the hell-hole was described in the DA's 2011 grand jury report:

“The clinic reeked of animal urine, courtesy of the cats that were allowed to roam
(and defecate) freely. Furniture and blankets were stained with blood. Instruments were
not properly sterilized. Disposable medical supplies were not disposed of; they were
reused, over and over again. Medical equipment – such as the defibrillator, the EKG, the
pulse oximeter, the blood pressure cuff – was generally broken; even when it worked, it
wasn’t used. The emergency exit was padlocked shut. And scattered throughout, in
cabinets, in the basement, in a freezer, in jars and bags and plastic jugs, were fetal
remains. It was a baby charnel house.”

 Who knew that basic cleanliness was a “Mayo Clinic standard”?

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
About this blog

When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

That’s why my blog is titled “So What Happened Was…”. To me, it’s the quintessentially Philly way of saying, “Once upon a time.” When I hear it, I know a good story is coming. And I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.


Read more from Ronnie Polaneczky at Earth to Philly, the Daily News blog on anything and everything "Green Reach Ronnie at polaner@phillynews.com.

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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