Philadelphia, PA—On the night of Monday, December 30, 2012 at Pennsylvania Hospital, located at 8th and Spruce streets in Philadelphia, a young mother was forced to give her newborn baby lethal doses of morphine.
Jade Nelson suffers from sickle cell anemia and uses morphine as a part of her pain management. She gave birth several days ago to Baby Dillen.
Pennsylvania Hospital, under the direction of Dr. Gerdes, harassed the mother, threatened her, used intimidation tactics—including a barrage of armed security guards present in the hospital room, excessive monitoring, the forced and unprovoked removal of the family, refusal to allow family visits during visiting hours and later furnishing of a court order to administer morphine to the newborn.
Pennsylvania Hospital issued an amber alert despite no attempt or threat to remove the baby, causing the police to be called to the scene several times.
Channel 6 even showed up to interview the family who was denied access to visit the patient, Jade Nelson, and her sister, Chineera Nelson.
According to the child medication safety act, whose purpose is to restore parental authority in the health care administered to their child, Jade had the legal right to refuse this risky course of treatment.
The hospital refused to furnish test results that would suggest the child was experiencing "morphine withdrawal." The baby seemed normal since birth per observant family including the maternal mother and grandmother of the child.
Lastly, police reports were filed to document the mistreatment and abuse of power against this poor young mother.
The hospital has been consistently hostile and unprovokingly aggressive toward Jade and her family.
The hospital has created a police state by refusing Jade to have any visitors, including from an attorney. Her civil rights and parental rights have been infringed upon at the hands of Pennsylvania Hospital.
have also refused to grant Jade a transfer of Baby Dillen to a children's hospital.
Upon hearing this story, it was clear to the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) that what is happening to Dillen is one of many examples of a chemical and biological warfare that U.S. colonial “healthcare” is waging against the African community.
More specifically, this is an attack on the African community that is made by attacking African women, who stand as the primary representatives of the interests of African children—especially during pregnancy or shortly thereafter.
This is an attack that InPDUM’s Revolutionary National Democratic Program (RNDP) is designed to combat with all its might.
The RNDP informs the following principles:
We demand an immediate end to the particular abuse of African women through the colonial system... The oppression of African women includes forcible subjugation to the degrading U.S. "welfare" system, which makes participation in the criminalization of African men a pre-requisite for receiving a tiny pittance. We demand an end to this degradation, as well as other forms of oppression, such as forcible sterilization through Norplant and other means, the theft of African babies from their mothers, the subjugation of African children to a brutal, militarized school system and the massive imprisonment of sons, husbands and fathers of African women.
What is made even clearer in Dillen’s case is that the so-called “war on drugs,” which the U.S. government has long used as justification to kidnap African babies from their mothers, is more like a war on Africans through drugs.
The forcible dosing of Baby Dillen with lethal amounts of morphine can only be summed up as chemical warfare.
Traditionally, the U.S. healthcare system has been incorrectly labeled as “free healthcare.” More recently it has been popularized as “Obamacare”.
The truth is that the U.S. healthcare system is a capitalist and colonialist healthcare system.
It is capitalist in that its driving force is profit. It will never provide “healthcare” if doing so does not generate profit.
In fact, it will create illness just to create the basis for more healthcare customers.
What the government labels “healthcare” is nothing but legalized drugs that in many ways are far more harmful than crack or other synthetic street drugs. This is what we see in Dillen’s case.
It is colonialist in that it is a healthcare system that preys on the misery and illness of African and other colonized and oppressed, non-white people to make its profit.
What happened to Dillen never happens to white babies. What happened to Dillen’s mother never happens to white women.
“African women in the U.S. are four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than white women, and African babies die at more than twice the rate of white infants.
In Washington, DC, which has a majority black population, women are almost 30 times more likely to die than in Maine.
Many of these deaths are attributable to systemic barriers to healthcare in the US, with Amnesty International, the human rights organization, stating that nearly half of these maternal deaths are preventable.”
This is why African people must get organized to be a self-determined people, capable of providing ourselves with healthcare on our own terms.
This is why we must protect and defend our own—including Baby Dillen!
Pennsylvania Hospital is owned by the University of Pennsylvania, a private institution known for its disdain for the African community.
The University of Pennsylvania has been the leading force in the gentrification of West Philly, forcing countless Africans out of their homes.
Their recent attack on Dillen and Jade is no surprise. We must surprise them with resistance!
Take Action! Help Save Dillen’s Life!
As part of InPDUM’s international campaign to “Protect and Defend Our Own,” we are calling our members and allies around the world to join the struggle to save Dillen’s life by doing the following:
Call Dr. Michael Buckley, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Hospital at 215-829-3433
Call Chief Medical Officer Dr. Daniel Feinberg at 215-829-7556,
State to them the following:
1. You are not ok with the chemical/medical genocide of African babies.
2. You are violating Jade Nelson's civil and democratic rights to decide what type of medication her child receives and does not receive.
3. Demand that the immediate transfer of Baby Dillen to the hospital of his mother’s choice.
Unfortunately, this story is not unusual. There are tens of thousands of African women in the United States and millions around the world who suffer the same colonial violence at the hands of similar institutions—from Pennsylvania Hospital to the World Health Organization.
We must build the International Peoples Democratic Uhuru Movement and wage organized resistance to protect and defend all African women and their children from such violence.
At InPDUM’s upcoming International Convention, scheduled for March 23-24, 2013, InPDUM will hold a workshop titled “Protect and ORGANIZE the African Woman! Defend and Organize the African Community!”
The goal of this workshop, as with the entire convention, is to bring the masses of African people into organized struggle like that which we are waging in defense of Dillen.