95-Year-Old Man In Nursing Home Resists Going To Hospital . . . Police Arrive And Shoot and Kill Him With Stun Gun And Bean Bag Rounds

JohnWranaThere is a disturbing report out of Chicago where police were called when 95-year-old world War II veteran John Wrana refused to go to a hospital for a urinary tract infection. Called by paramedics to assist in getting Wrana into an ambulance, the Park Forest police showed up in riot gear and proceeded to shoot Wrana first with a stun gun and then with a bead bag fired from a shotgun. He no longer needed treatment for the urinary tract problem. He died from internal bleeding and blunt force trauma. He was about to celebrate his 96th birthday.

Wrana was reportedly frail and had difficulty walking. We have previously discussed other cases involving the killing of a bedridden elderly woman and an unarmed suicide case. The cases raise serious questions of the rapid escalation of such cases in the level of force used by police as well as the increasing use of “non-lethal devices” as a first response to threats.

Wrana was living in an assisted-living facility. Paramedics told police that he was threatening them with a metal shoehorn and a knife. Some reports indicate that Wrana had decided that he did not want to go through an operation. That may have been the reason why he was resisting. He said that he understood that not having the operation could kill him but decided against it. It is not clear whether he was declared incompetent before the attempt to force him to go to the hospital.

The family contests the claim of the knife. Even if he had a knife, it is hard to see why police could not stand back (particularly since they had riot shields) and avoid using such force on an individual who clearly would be a risk with either a stun gun or bean bag round. Even if the blunt trauma did not finish him off, the shock could easily trigger a heart attack in a near 96 year old man. Some reports indicate that multiple rounds of bean bags may have been used.

article-2385926-1B307EF9000005DC-868_306x423Wrana was U.S. Air Corps veteran who served in Burma and India during World War II. Sergeant Wrana survived the hellish fighting in Burma but would later die in the United States just short of this 96 birthday in a confrontation with police. Truly bizarre.

Just for the record. These bean bag rounds are often thought of as harmless, almost toy-like devices. The bean bags fired form a shotgun will initially travel at around 300-400 feet a second (though they have a range of 70 feet). They have been shown to break ribs and even push broken ribs into the heart. Internal bleeding is a well-known risk.

joh-wrana

295 thoughts on “95-Year-Old Man In Nursing Home Resists Going To Hospital . . . Police Arrive And Shoot and Kill Him With Stun Gun And Bean Bag Rounds”

  1. David,
    When you say “treat them for free” exactly how do you propose to pay salaries for the doctors, nurses, and medical support staff, not to mention a few million dollars worth of equipment. Plus their malpractice insurance.

    As for planning ahead, how would you propose to plan ahead for a stroke, cancer, catastrophic infection, or serious accident to name just three? Both my daughter and grandson had cancer. My daughter was diagnosed at the age of seven months, but by some miracle of modern medical science survived a cancer that is almost 100% fatal. My grandson was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma at 13 and died at 17. What healthy diet would you have suggested so they wouldn’t get cancer? And by the way, the medical bills for both of them were in the vicinity of a million dollars apiece. How you plan to pay for that without insurance?

    1. OS wrote: “When you say “treat them for free” exactly how do you propose to pay salaries for the doctors, nurses, and medical support staff, not to mention a few million dollars worth of equipment. Plus their malpractice insurance.”

      I think everyone involved adopts an attitude of giving to those who have need. The doctors, nurses, and medical support staff can earn enough on paying customers to support themselves, and give of their time and expertise to help those who cannot afford it. They can accept lower payments from those able and willing to pay something. Most people want to pay what they are able to pay. They are more than grateful. The expensive equipment manufacturers can do the same thing. They can donate equipment for use with the poor, or they can offer rebates for the number of poor treated, etc. There are lots of ways to do it. There are mobile health clinics that go around the country now and give free health care. I remember seeing a report on Nightline about them. Really good work they do. I have a huge amount of respect for programs like these. The government should support these kinds of groups rather than create Obamacare.

      We also need some kind of tort reform in regards to the malpractice insurance. Doctors and nurses make mistakes like everybody else. I think the law should give them some kind of immunity from prosecution based upon clear consent of the person requesting treatment. It will be difficult to hash out the details, but something needs to be done about it. The patient needs to assume the bulk of the responsibility for what happens when he chooses to trust a doctor with his health decisions. The problem is that they look to the doctor like he or she is god, and when that person makes a mistake, or they think they made a mistake, they sue. Gotta stop that IMO.

    2. OS wrote: “As for planning ahead, how would you propose to plan ahead for a stroke, cancer, catastrophic infection, or serious accident to name just three?”

      You can’t really plan ahead for things like this, although good exercise and diet, staying out of the sun, and avoiding stress are ways to avoid stroke and cancer.

      With catastrophic things, buy catastrophic insurance if you want to plan ahead for this. I choose not to, and I do not think I should be penalized or treated as a second class citizen for making that choice.

      I had a catastrophic event happen to me with my back. I was heading out of the house at 5:30 in the morning when I collapsed on the sidewalk just 10 feet from my front door. I could not move; the pain was severe. I hollered for someone in the house to come help me, but nobody could hear me. They were all asleep. I was stuck there for 3 hours with ants crawling over me and being unable even to brush them off me. Finally, they started to wake up in the house. My youngest daughter told my wife she heard me yelling outside. They found me. Most people call the ambulance and head to the medical professionals for help. Not me, though I thought about it. My wife knows my attitude about medical doctors, so she encouraged me that we could get through this without them. Over the next hour, they helped roll me onto a mechanics creeper, then pulled me into the house and finally into my bed. I could not get out of bed for more than a week. I had to pee in a bag. When I finally could go to the bathroom, I used a walker my wife bought at the thrift store down the road, and the first time took me 45 minutes to walk the 20 feet to the commode. I did what work I could do on my computer from my bed. After six weeks, I was finally able to drive myself to the office to resume work there. If I had gone to the hospital, yeah, I would have had a huge bill, but we managed fine without them. That’s how I choose to live my life, and I think that I should be allowed to continue doing that. I hope I never get in a situation like John Wrana. He did not want medical treatment, so the police were called and he was killed for resisting medical treatment.

  2. David,
    Exactly. Insurance companies are big business and none of them ever treated a single sick person. They exist to make money, and have wandered far away from Franklin’s concept. As it now exists, big insurance is one of the least productive industries in this country.

    I have a young relative who is now on disabiliy. He worked for a big insurance company which I will not name because I am concerned that if I do, they might be able to identify him, and may try to retaliate by cutting off his long term disabilty payments. He worked in the department where claims were sent if a client had a catastrophic illness like cancer or needed a transplant. His job was to comb through their entire personal history to find medical records the claimant did not report when first applying for insurance. If he found an old sports injury, acne treatments, or a visit to the doctor for tonsillitis as a kid, if it was not reported on the applicaton, he disallowed the claim for medical services and cancelled the policy because the claimant “lied” when they filled out the application. People died because of his actions. Unfortunately for the job he was in, he has a conscience, and he had a complete breakdown. Lost his voice and now unable to speak. He sits at home now in front of the TV, a psychological basket case. Almost anything will trigger his work-related PTSD.

    My youngest daughter cannot get either health or life insurance at any price. She is a childhood cancer survivor, which means she is uninsurable, unless it is through an employer or the ACA.

    So yes, I do know a lot about insurance.

    1. Elaine M wrote: “Would you support either a single payer or a public option?”

      No. I am more open to a single payer system, but without more information to change my mind, right now I would not support it. I do not think health care for all Americans should be federalized, except maybe in a way where the federal government might require communities to have a system whereby everyone who wants health care can get it for their residents. Let the local governments figure out how they are going to accomplish that.

      I don’t know the way all States do it, but here in Florida, the counties operate health clinics. Then there are public hospitals. The poor can walk into either and they get service. The individual pays for service on a sliding scale based upon their income. Those without jobs pay nothing. Our county taxes pay the difference. I think the system works fairly well.

      From my perspective, federalizing health care makes it more prone to corruption and inefficiency. There is too much money involved. Everybody is looking for a small piece of the big pie.

  3. David,

    There ya go again… You twisted logic and all…. Obama… Is properly elected… Unlike bush….. The ACA you may not like…. Was properly done through both houses and sent to the president for his signature…. It’s a law…. Then a bunch of folks decided to contest the law….. They took it to the Sct which has a GOP lock… They basically said that it’s the law of the land…..

    Now, you’re saying the president is dong something improper….. Most of the time I’d agree…. But here you have a few special interest dictating the outcome of the country…. It’s bull hockey…. Clear and simple….

    Let it be noted…. I am not a fan of Obsma…. And I will take every opportunity to point out his faults and anyone in his cabinet…especially the AG….

    You sound like you’re taking a twist to the birther argument….

    1. AY wrote: “But here you have a few special interest dictating the outcome of the country…”

      By few special interest, do you mean Barack Obama and Harry Reid? I can see how they represent special interests because they hold the power here to either lead or block, but if you are talking about the Congressmen who do not want us to borrow money from the Chinese and others to pay for Obamacare, then I do not agree. These men were elected by the people, and they represent people like me. You can marginalize them all you want because you do not feel like they represent you, but as of late, I do not feel like President Obama represents me, nor does he represent a little less than half the country. His leadership on this issue is non-existent. President Obama blamed Bush coming into the White House, and now he blames about 20 Republicans for wanting to pass spending bills without the Obamacare spending that Obama claimed was not going to cost us a penny. The budget of the government is the President’s responsibility, and Congress along with Vice President Biden is suppose to pass a budget and vote on bills in connection with that budget. Instead of doing this, they skipped doing any budget and just vote as if spending will be dealt with later. Well, they kept kicking the can down the road, and now a few people are saying, hold on. How can our children be expected to pay for this massive debt? Why are you granting waivers to everybody in Congress, to various States and districts, to all your buddies, but the people in my district get no waivers?

      The bottomline is that Congress is doing what Congress is supposed to do. The duly elected Congressmen trying to pass spending bills right now are on the right side. Obama and his cronies want to attach their special spending to these bills, and they are saying no, not so fast. We need some financial responsibility here.

      If President Obama really cared about the American people, he would immediately encourage passing of a spending bill for everything but Obamacare, and they would only be discussing Obamacare spending and not shutting down the federal government. Instead he wants to close parks and open malls like the D.C. war memorial, which is so ridiculous, I don’t know how you cannot see how that is political game playing by President Obama.

  4. How A Rand Paul Republican From Alabama Learned To Love Obamacare
    By Igor Volsky
    October 4, 2013
    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/10/04/2730801/joshua-pittman/

    Excerpt:
    Joshua Pittman is a 31-year-old self-employed videographer from Montgomery, Alabama. A libertarian Republican who voted for Ron Paul in 2012 and believes that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is the future of the GOP, Pittman sees Barack Obama’s presidency as a “failure” who hasn’t lived up to the nation’s expectations.

    But on Tuesday morning, Pittman logged on to HealthCare.gov and after some initial glitches and delays, successfully enrolled in a Bronze-level Obamacare health insurance plan. “It took me all day, really,” he says with a laugh. “It kicked me out and told me you have to try again, but I knew what I was getting into with so many people exploring it.”

    Though he initially supported repealing the law, Pittman became curious about Obamacare in the days and weeks before it launched. For years, he had gone uninsured, thinking he’d be able to “get over anything with a bandaid and a six pack of beer.” But a lead poisoning incident earlier this year shook his confidence and bank account, leading him with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. “I was a healthy person and it really depleted me financially, so it made me look at things in a different way than I would before. I understood the importance of people being insured.”

    “I’ve seen first hand people hitting up the emergency room for free health care and then putting a burden on [everyone else] and that’s not something I would want to do, I want to take personal responsibility … By no means am I trying to take a government handout…it’s not a free handout, you’re paying for this health care, but it’s making it more accessible to more people.”

    Asked what he liked about Obamacare, Pittman highlighted its prohibition against denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, noting that he wouldn’t be able to find coverage without it, and said that the policies offered in the marketplace seemed more affordable and comprehensive than those available to him on the individual market. “You may pay $18 a month [for a cheaper plan] and you’re missing a level of coverage. It’s not as easy as you’re going to pay this much a month,” he says.

  5. Mike,
    David and people like him simply don’t understand the economic principles of insurance, as first set out by Ben Franklin more than two centuries ago. Get everyone together, pool a small amount of money, and then pay out when the need arises for a member of the pool. The insured is betting they may need it someday, the pool bets they won’t and through shared risk everyone pays a lower price. I posted some questions last night. I will repost them here for David:

    Do you think people should be able to drive without insurance?

    How does one plan not to have any serious medical conditions for a year?

    What do we do with someone who doesn’t have insurance? Make them buy it, treat them for free in emergency rooms, or leave them on the street to die?

    1. OS wrote: “The insured is betting they may need it someday, the pool bets they won’t and through shared risk everyone pays a lower price.”

      Clearly YOU are the one who does not understand the economics of insurance, along with Ruth Bader Ginsburg and other supposedly intelligent people who have facilitated the largest insurance bailout in history without calling it that.

      Insurance is BIG BUSINESS. I have a cousin who is a multi-millionaire. He owns like five multi-million dollar homes, a jet plane, a ferrari, a fully stocked RV, multiple other cars and boats. His business is insurance. His first paycheck in that industry was for nearly half a million dollars. He worked for about 8 months with no paycheck, then the payoff started coming in.

      Insurance works like Casinos do. The insurance corporations set up the game for them to win. How do they do it? By deceiving people like you into thinking that without them, you cannot afford the services for which you are being insured. The truth is, they set up the odds to be in their favor, and not just by a small margin, but by a BIG margin.

      Just apply some common sense and you will know what I say is true. We know that Casinos stack the deck in their favor because they have these huge buildings, big buffets, give away a lot of free stuff to everyone, and people who run them drive fancy cars, have huge properties, and have lots of money, etc. Look at the big insurance buildings in the downtown areas of most large cities. Look at the insurance commercials on television. How do they pay for that? Look at how many millionaires exist in the insurance industry. Look at the Forbes 500 list of top companies by revenue. People rightly talk about Banksters, but they turn a blind eye to insurance providers? Why?

      The winners in the insurance racket is NOT the consumer. Not by a long way. The people who believe they benefit the most from insurance are like the gamblers who keep going into the Casinos believing they will win big.

      1. David,

        You basically said the same thing as OS without realizing it…. Buying insurance is gambling… You’re gambling you’re going to have an accident or some claim… And the insurance company is betting you don’t…

        The odds today are greatly stacked in the insurance industry’s favor….

        Ever seen what happens when a claim is made to Lloyd’s of London ? It’s personal liability.. Not here in the states…

    2. OS wrote: “Do you think people should be able to drive without insurance?”

      Yes.

      OS wrote: “How does one plan not to have any serious medical conditions for a year?”

      The answer is specific to each case.

      If a person is obese, lose weight or you will likely have health problems. Eating right is another good plan. Exercise is a plan. That’s why I pay for and encourage my employees to be a member at the gym, and I provide a good example or regularly working out at the gym.

      In some cases, a person might want to buy insurance. At one time in my life, I was involved in some activist activities that involved a lot of death threats and attempts on my life. With concern for how my family would fare if someone murdered me, I took out a term life insurance policy so they would have enough money to pay off the mortgage and reorganize their lives without me.

      OS wrote: “What do we do with someone who doesn’t have insurance? Make them buy it, treat them for free in emergency rooms, or leave them on the street to die?”

      We treat them for free, like virtually all communities did before Obamacare. They might whine and complain about how unfair it is that they have to do all this treatment for free. The hospital may threaten to go private again and again in order to avoid having to treat people for free, but if we are a civilized society, we will treat people who cannot afford it.

      There is a teaching in the Bible about how the edges of the field belong to the poor. Translating that to modern industrial society, that means the change in our pockets belong to the poor. Think about that the next time a homeless man asks you for some change. It means a portion of our services belong to those who cannot afford them. The legal profession has enshrined this somewhat in pro bono services being required. In the same way, doctors, nurses, hospital corporations, etc. can share their skills with the poor for free. We all can. Forcing others to pay you to service them is wrong. It is a cop-out.

  6. This may happen to my ill aging mother. Sh is 88 years old, lives in her own apartment in a building for age 55 and over. I sent her a cell phone. Her home phone was shut off, as she was being over charged for medical support over and above of her medicare in Social Security benefits. I am paying for the Cell Phone we sent her. Mother has been forced to go to hospital many times, via my Sister, of whom has no training in care functions for older people. Mom has to make sister leave to get peaceful days. I life in South Dakota, Mom lives in Portland Oregon. In 2006,I flew out, rented a car, took Mom back to her apartment from a facility that said she was never going back home again. I signed her out. Mom has been home now to this day, Oct, 5, 2013. Mom thanks me over and over again for taking her to here home of choice. I am going to be 70 years old next year. Served USAF, over 26 yrs, in all.

    1. Mr. John Joseph Sabrowski wrote: “In 2006,I flew out, rented a car, took Mom back to her apartment from a facility that said she was never going back home again. I signed her out. Mom has been home now to this day, Oct, 5, 2013. Mom thanks me over and over again for taking her to here home of choice.”

      Wow. Good job. This is one of the most kind and wise things you could do for your mother. I applaud you. I am sure this action on your part took a lot of guts on your part.

      I imagine many people would not understand your decision, and disagree with it, but the truth is that these institutions which focus on using government programs like Medicare and Medicaid to pay for their services are hurting and killing a lot of people. They get paid to find people to fill their beds and qualify for the funding. It is big business for them. The elderly should be allowed the free choice to live where they want and to receive the kind of healthcare that they want. Instead, because the government pays of it, too many are pressured to be moved into institutions and taken away from family, and their choices are taken away from them, just like John Wrana. Thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully it will give others courage not to allow the government programs to take away their parents and grandparents, to move them into institutions to die among strangers, away from home and family. You are a true American hero.

  7. Juliet,
    Thanks. I knew about half the state governors have weaseled out, but did not know the exact number. Those governors don’t believe their constituents need or deserve health care. Sadly, too many are like Misty and have drunk the Kool Aid of lies and disinformation.

  8. Misty,
    Everyone deserves care and should get it. The Affordable Care Act provides waivers for the premium if you qualify. Poverty is no reason for not having it. Having said that, people old enough to draw Social Security should have Medicaid or Medicare. The Affordable Care Act (i.e., “Obamacare”) does not even apply. What happened to this nursing home patient had absolutely NOTHING to do with the ACA. It had to do with incompetence on the part of nursing home staff, the EMS crew and the police.

    What we really need to worry about in situations such as this is not insurance, but the increasing militarization of some police departments, plus poor training. Hardly a day passes without hearing of inappropriate use of “non lethal” weapons on elderly people, and sometimes with fatal results. I consult with law enforcement agencies, and have been to advanced training in the use of these weapons. The basic rule is that OC (Pepper Spray), Tasers, bean bag shotguns, and batons/nightsticks should never be used on anyone seventy or older. Way too many older people have osteopenia or osteoporosis, not to mention heart conditions and other health problems.

    1. OS wrote: “Everyone deserves care and should get it.” … “Those governors don’t believe their constituents need or deserve health care.”

      I do not appreciate you or my government telling me what I need, deserve, or should get. Who made you god? Why do you enjoy taking away my freedom?

      I do not need health insurance, I do not deserve health insurance, and I do not want health insurance, so please do not give me health insurance. I do not want it for free, and I certainly do not want to be forced to buy it.

      Oh, you want me to pay for your health insurance for you? Really? Do you want me to pay for your drugs too? Really? Want me to pay for your abortion, and your viagra, and everything else that you think everybody ought to have? You think you are so great because you don’t want anything for yourself alone, but what you want is what you want for everybody. Somehow that makes it alright. The problem is that not everybody shares your values, nor do they share your desires and your need for drugs. We just want you to leave us alone.

      1. “Somehow that makes it alright. The problem is that not everybody shares your values, nor do they share your desires and your need for drugs. We just want you to leave us alone.”

        DavidM,

        Your ethics, spirituality and morality are summed up in the quote above:

        ME! ME! ME!

        1. Mike Spindell wrote: “Your ethics, spirituality and morality are summed up in the quote above: ME! ME! ME!”

          I am expressing how millions of people feel, Mike. This is NOT about me, but about a tyrant named Barack Obama forcing his will on the people of America. We are suppose to be a democratic Republic, but President Obama will not recognize the legitimacy of elected Congressmen.

  9. I have read some of the posts. this is a tragedy. As far as the Affordable Care Act, they are already forcing us to get insurance even if we cant afford it and who decides what our quality of life will be even if we have had a major stroke? case in point, my mother was left paralyzed and unable to care for herself. my mother in law, same type of stroke, had only her eye sight affected. who decides within Obama care which of these ladies “deserve” to receive care? one was 89 the last is 70. age no longer is respected. the older you get, the more disposable you become and , we, the American people have sat back and allowed it to happen. one day it will be our turn to face this. Hopefully we will wise up and correct the situation before it destroys any more of us.

    1. Misty: To put it more bluntly, despite all the fear-mongering by the GOP, there are no death panels and care to the elderly is not being rationed. Please inform yourself about the ACA before posting things about it that are untrue and make no sense.

      That being said, OS, since at last count 26 states have opted out of Medicaid expansion, many of the working poor won’t be able to afford insurance. However, the blame for that can be placed with the Republican governors and legislators in those states.

  10. I live in UK, and I am very disturbed that responsible people like police offices should Murder a 95 year old man. I hope these officers are not still walking free, as what happens in the US today happens over here tomorrow. This article disturbs me greatly and leaves me wondering what sort of world we are leaving our children and grandchildren. Ron Walker Liverpool UK

  11. I am so sorry to hear this. Please let us not run to judgement…If true this is what our protect and serve did makes us no better than they and if not true honest people won’t be cruisified.

  12. Last time I checked we as adults have the right to refuse medical treatment for ourselves. Family needs to hold the facility accountable as well.

  13. 1. staff at retirement homes know that residents often are confused. 2. UTIs add to that confusion. 3. this gentleman had just confronted an issue regarding going to the hospital.. perhaps he thought that this was the same issue. 4. UTIs can be treated with antibiotics without having to take an ambulance to the ER. 5. once paramedics are called to transport and are confronted by a patient they can’t manage they do call police.. the error here appears to be mis-communication between staff, medics and cops. Almost anyone who is confused will be frightened by someone in a uniform who attempt to manhandle them…. so go figure 2 maybe 3 medics show up to strap him in to a gurney for trans port.. this really scares him,, then several more uniformed people with shields show up and this throws the old man right back in to the war days.. uniforms should have exited and staff should have been allowed to calm him down and I bet he might have walked to the ambulance.. all this means is that staff medics and cops should have been trained better to deal with this situation. totally unnecessary behaviors on everyone’s part.

  14. You people just don’t get it! Having sold your soul to a socialist regime you are just another number, or just another mouth to feed that is sucking the life out of the ‘collective’. If you have no God, and no fundamental understaning of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, then you are just dust in the wind, and might as well give yourself over to be cannon fodder! To them, he wasn’t even worth the “non-lethal round” that took his life! Just another person, that they won’t have on the roles of Obamacare!

  15. Obviously, the training these officers received was not complete. They are not trained in conflict management. I wonder what is going through their minds, who gave the to order to fire? Who thought SWAT would be the necessary force? Until we have these answered and they are retrained, we are all in danger.

  16. What sort of training are police recruits getting that makes them (even a tiny minority of them) think it is permissible to act like Gestapo thugs on the street? Who is telling them this is the way to act? Some responsible, senior officers and trainers need to be stripped of their badges and sued into poverty.

    1. Tom Cox wrote: “Who is telling them this is the way to act?”

      Ever hear of the 1971 Stanford prison experiment? There are psychological effects that happen to people who are placed in authority and given power to act. Nobody has to tell them to act this way. Unfortunately, it is human nature. Somebody has to tell them NOT to act this way.

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