Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Part 2 - How to Fake a Labor and Delivery in a Hospital. But What About...

I'd like to address a couple of issues that some people brought up in the comments. They are important, and a large part of the reason people have problems with believing that Sarah Palin faked being pregnant with Trig.

The main issue tends to be that there would be at least a couple of staff members that would HAVE to come into the room to do a procedure or monitor vital signs because it might be hospital protocol. Or, the nurse supervisor and/ or Risk Manager would be notified in this situation. Let me take those issues one by one.

Part of this is the psychological aspect of it. How could a doctor and a high profile politician conceive of doing something like this, much less, get away with it? That will be the next post. This post will focus on the nuts and bolts of how a faked pregnancy could be gotten away with in a public hospital.

First of all, I can't speak for Alaska, but here in GA you can have your own private nurse monitor you at a hospital if you want. That nurse does not have to be affiliated with that hospital. When it would periodically happen at the larger hospitals I worked at, typically we would give that nurse the patient's chart for her to chart on through the night (or day). As long as the nurse was licensed, there wasn't a problem. It was a win-win situation for the hospital.

1. It was done at the patients request.
2. The nurse would be licensed in that state.
3. A nurse would be freed up to add another patient to her work load.
4. The hospital would benefit from the extra help, without having to pay her wages or taxes. The patient was paying for her.

The hospital is allowed to turn responsibility of charting, recording and monitoring over to that nurse. That nurse would take orders from the patient's doctor and record the doctor's order in the chart. If that nurse needed assistance with anything, she or he would either come to the nurses station or push the call button and one of us would help them. Other than that, we typically would not bother them. After all, that patient is theoretically getting the best care by having a nurse care for them with a 'one-on-one' bases.

Now imagine it is not a nurse providing that one-on-one care. It is the patient's doctor. A doctor that has staff privileges at that hospital. And the patient just happens to be the governor of the state of Alaska. If the doctor says that the governor does not want to be disturbed, and she is closely monitoring the situation, she is not going to be bothered! That doctor will be ordering any test or procedures that she wants to done. If there is not actual pregnancy, nothing needs to be done. I imagine she might hang a I.V. to make it look good, but she doesn't actually have to hang Pitocin to induce labor. There is no pregnancy! She is able to record in the chart the normal procedures that are done without doing them. I'm not saying that a nurse would not have been involved also, I'm saying that just having a doctor involved alone could be done, and I imagine the less people involved might be safer for Sarah and CBJ.

As far as the concern that the hospital Supervisor or Risk Manager might intervene, not necessarily in this situation. Those in upper management are under political pressure as much as any other state service related job. Here they are dealing with the governor of Alaska! At this point, her reputation about being vicious and vindictive with people who anger her is probably well known (source:palingates). Her doctor is most likely assuring them that the situation is under control. Her church runs the board of directors(source:palin's deception)

Also, this was done at night. Most of the upper management works during the day. This all took place in one shift period. I don't imagine this was a situation that they could have foreseen happening. By the time more people could be informed at to what was happening, it was over.

Here is the thing. If you believe that Sarah Palin faked her pregnancy, as all of the evidence points to, then you have to believe that something went on at the hospital, there is no way around that. You also have to believe that Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson was involved in it. There is no way around that either. The scenario I have presented shows how this could have been done without too much difficulty. Later, when the hospital had a chance to review what had happened in depth, I imagine questions were raised and discussed. But again, would they really have wanted to have pushed on this when the odds were stacked against them?

I believe that that is why Trig was not listed as being born there. I don't believe that Sarah didn't list it for privacy reasons, having it listed would only help her. I believe that this tale was so outlandish that a decision was made by upper management to not allow it to be listed. There was nothing that could be done after the fact, and they had to protect their reputation, but I imagine that there were those who would be upset that the hospital had been used as a part of this hoax.

I will do a separate post on the psychological aspects of why and how someone would be involved in this type of deception.


  1. Enjoying your posts, it's been a while. I suggest that things were just very simple. Palin and family are located in an empty room by CBJ or perhaps even Linda Menard, who is on the board. Staff were told to mind their own business, threatened with ruin if they showed an interest or ever spoke about what happened. Or the transaction occurred in a private area of the hospital where there were no witnesses and the staff was also instructed that they would be fired, charged, ruined if they spoke about anything that went on in the hospital with the Palins, Heaths, Johnstons that day.

    The baby we know as Trig was "delivered" to the hospital and the family left by the back entrance.

  2. Could be wrong here, but it is my understanding that hospital staff are prohibited by law from releasing any information about patients w/o patient's permission.

    The photo of the Heaths holding a baby in the hospital could have been taken at any time prior to the day SP supposedly gave birth. Or they could be holding a baby born that night to a minor, who was giving him/her up for adoption, and therefore unable to recognize the child as her own should she later see that photo. Could even be that Sarah was never there at all--just the Heaths, Palins and Levi seen going in and coming out again.

    No Palin baby = no hospital birth announcement.

  3. Remember Dar Miller who died in suspicious fire? She was a neonatal nurse before she became a hospice nurse.

  4. I don't know what the laws are in Alaska, either, but I know the position the hospital I work at holds with private duty nurses: the hospital still maintains liability and the floor nurse supersedes the private nurse.

    If a patient insists on a private nurse, the patient (or family) are responsible for contacting him or her and for paying. The nurse is given the chart to use. However, they have no access to medications (requires computer access via the Pyxis machine). If they needed to give a medication, they would have to ask the floor nurse who would obtain it from the Pyxis and give it to the patient themselves- because we would have no way of knowing if the private duty nurse is even licensed. And the floor nurse and charge nurse are still required to check on the patient regularly and make sure s/he is being appropriately cared for. IOW, they'd be stepping into the room, viewing the patient, and making their own notes on the computer record. They'd be asking the private nurse what's been going on. If the private nurse is going to do a procedure, the floor nurse would assist.

    I don't think this is something that has been legislated. I think this is something that's been through the courts. The hospital is providing the location and supplies; they don't cede liability. Your hospital might be gambling that everything is going to go right.

    Having a doctor demand total privacy with a patient, even a governor, would be so unusual that it would definitely be talked about- the nurses would be asking, "what is our liability, if we're on shift and the doctor is telling us to stay away." It would be discussed afterwards for some time, even if they don't mention Sarah specifically. That is definitely a legal issue and I'm betting the nurses would be talking. And WRT HIPAA: knowing that there is a 44 year old woman in labor with her 5th child who is DS and no nurse is being allowed in- that is a major red flag. Because if something goes wrong, presumably the doctor would be yelling for help, with no guarantee that only the assigned nurse would be there. Heck, when my grandson developed distress during my daughter's labor, five nurses stormed through the door. They HAD to know what was going on. Maternity nurses need to know what's happening on the unit, not just with their own patients.

    I see where you're coming from, but I still think the situation would have been discussed among the nurses, with the house supervisor, and above her there is the administrator on call, and Risk Management is always available. I agree only to the point that the house supervisor might have decided on a "wait and see" approach and planned to discuss it with Administration in the morning- by which time the baby would have appeared. Whatever the charge nurse said to the administration, I bet the hospital admin wound up shaking their heads and thinking they dodged a bullet.

    I also think there is no way that the doctor could guarantee that the house supervisor wouldn't contact the administrator on call and Risk Management, no matter what she said. If I'd been the house supe, I'd have called the administrator at least.

    Given that Sarah changed her story to Trig-was-born-in-Anchorage, I suspect the hospital Risk Management department reviewed the case in detail and hospital authorities have informed Sarah that she is jeopardizing their standing. Trig, multiple risk baby, should not have been born at Mat-Su, and given the alleged induction, there was plenty of time to transfer. Sarah may have threatened with legal action. Or maybe her friend Linda Menard convinced her to change her story.

    It's also a possibility that the hole-in-the-heart was a complete lie that Sarah spouted to make Tri-g look more fragile, just as she changed his gestational age.

    Looking forward to your post on psychological issues.


  5. I'd like to add: the Risk Management people may have learned that no birth took place and Sarah may have been warned to quit lying about Mat-Su, because what she claimed happened is presenting them in violation of their policies and damaging their reputation. At that point, she probably could have been threatened with a lawsuit for slander.


  6. Keeping it simple, Sarah Palin was never admitted to the hospital. She just needed the setting for the media, so she was stowed away with her accomplices in an empty room or an office somewhere.

    She did 'take possession' of baby Trig at the hospital. He was presented to the world by loving grandparents in the hospital. It has been reported that the Palins left the next day out of a back door.

    The staff (RNs, Anesth, lab, admin, etc) was none the wiser or if they saw the charade they were warned off.

    We have seen only 2 brave individuals emerge from AK in these last 2 1/2 years. Hawk and the woman protesting Palin with the WGE banner. Only 2.

    No one working in the hospital could afford to lose their job and be charged with a HIPAA violation or ruined in some other way by the hospital board and the Palin/Heath clan. So they all have remained silent.

  7. ITA with Ivyfree. I've asked a nurse-attorney who specializes in risk management whether a provider could disclose that he/she did NOT provide services to a patient, without the patient's permission. My understanding is that the provider could neither confirm nor deny providing services without the alleged patient's permission.

    The simplest solution is the most likely: SP was never admitted to the hospital. Staff know they could get into huge legal trouble if they disclose that SP was never admitted.

  8. A quick note to say that I do believe that Palin was admitted to the hospital. There was just too much media attention that reported that she was there. And, if she had not been there, they would have been able to refute it. If she had not been admitted, a HIPPA form would have been signed.

    Ivyfree, thank you for bringing up the info regarding private duty nursing. In GA, at the beginning of the shift, the nurse from the previous shift would give her report. She had the chart and would do the assessment and the reporting. She would report to the charge nurse if there was a problem. If the MD needed to be called. The charge nurse would call and take voice orders.

    But again, you are describing what normally happens. As I said, a nurse may have been involved who played this role, but CBJ was close by. And you are describing a REAL pregnancy, labor and delivery. Since I believe the evidence showing that Palin was not pregnant, both in pictures,documentation and her claim of 'The Wild Ride', I have to then follow a scenario of how could the most powerful politician in a state, along with the help of her doctor, get away with faking a birth in a small hospital.

  9. Update to my previous comment. If Sarah Palin had not been admitted to Mat-Su Regional Hospital, a HIPPA form would NOT have been signed. Then the hospital would be free to say Trig was not born there.

  10. clue to the truth... Alaska Birth Defect Registry. CBJ or her OB would have had to file a special form if a Down Syndrome child was conceived or born. Look for Mat Su borough!!!

  11. Thanks for this series of posts - very helpful.

    I think it's important to separate what Palin has said from what's been confirmed independently. Is there any evidence that Sarah Palin was ever at Mat-Su? We know that KTUU ran video of the Heaths there on 4/18, but otherwise we only have Lori Tipton saying she was told Palin was sleeping in a room. No one testifies to have actually seen her there.

    Next Chapter (sorry - not sure if you go by another name) and other nurses - what are the chances the Palins could have claimed to have given birth there but never actually been a registered patient? Is that impossible? When did she supposedly check out - the day of the "birth?"

    I'd be grateful if anyone can remind me what we know about events on 4/18.

  12. Anon at 4:33 - that's a very good idea. I'm trying to find a summary online - who has access to this data? Is it public?

  13. To Rationalist,

    I use the name, Next Chapter, because I choose it in 2008 during the elections. I wanted to get onto the 'next chapter'. Since then I have kept it. I don't use my real name because of the area I'm in. I had a, 'Vote for Obama and Biden' sign in my yard. It was stolen and a awhile later my house was broken into. Everything I had of any value was stolen and the house was vandalized. I don't know if it was related, but I have my suspicions.

    As to your question. Andrew Sullivan did talk with a reporter that stated that she was an eye witness as to seeing Palin in the hospital.

    The Dish also talked to a reporter who was present at the hospital that day and confirmed as an eye witness that Palin was indeed there, sleeping in another room, recovering from labor.

    Here is the article, from 'The Daily Dish. Palin's Medical Records II

    Also, as I have said, I don't believe that a hospital would have gone along with a ruse where Sarah Palin would claim she gave birth at that hospital if she had not been admitted there. There would be too many people that could potentially deny it. Also, if she wasn't admitted, there would be no HIPPA form. The staff would be allowed to tell if she had been admitted there or not.

    Accounts have reported that Palin and Trigg were discharged within 24 hours, on the 19th.

  14. Thanks, Next Chapter!

    I think that reporter who spoke to the Dish was Lori Tipton. She said she was told Palin was sleeping but as far as I can tell never actually saw her. So we don't know for sure when Palin was actually at the hospital.

    But I agree with you that the most likely scenario is one where CBJ handled everything and told nurses on staff not to go in the room because Palin needed privacy.

    And I agree that at some point a baby would have had to be brought in by someone - my theory is that someone is CBJ herself, who obtained the baby from one of the troubled teens she works with at The Children's Place.

    CBJ calls Palin in Dallas on April 17th to say "we have a baby for you." Palin and Todd head back but Palin makes the mistake of lying to her dad that her water broke and that's why they're coming back early. They head back to Mat-Su, meet CBJ, transfer the baby, everything's fine...and then a reporter asks Palin about the water breaking...and the rest is history.

    You know who I'd like to talk to? The janitorial staff who worked at Mat-Su that night. Did they clean the room? Were they asked NOT to clean the room?

  15. There was not "too much media attention" at the hosp.; there was virtually none. Lori Tipton who, according to Palin's Official Schedule(!!), had an interview appointment with Bristol(!!) that AM, claimed in an email to have been stuck waiting outside the hospital "trying to get a glimpse of the Palins" (why? If you have an appt?) Tipton never claimed to have seen Palin herself at all. Sarah could have been home sleeping after her long flight!!

    It was only later in the afternoon that there was a shot of the Heaths with that non-newborn, plus an interview with Chuck. That adds up to zero as far as "Sarah being in the hospital" is actually concerned.

  16. As far as CBJ is concerned, she could have been blind-sided by all of this. She didn't need to co-ordinate any kind of complicated scenario; the scenario was the Heaths standing in a recovery room with a baby. In most hospitals I've been in anyone can just walk into the patient areas.

    CBJ need not have been complicit in procuring the baby. Sarah has Franklin Graham with his private plane, she has her "pregnancy" (read white baby adoption) clinic friend$ in Texa$. People speculate that Tri-G may have come from within the family, which is possible, but really all bets are off with Sarah.

  17. unfortunately, SP can not remember if TriG was born at Mat-Su or at Anchorage.

    Levi is wearing a hospital he is the Dad. Don't know who the mom is...but am sure it was not SP because she had a tubal ligation when Piper was born.