I was able, through WikiLeaks, to obtain the transcript from a recent University of Maryland Shore Regional Health board meeting.

Chairman: “Welcome everyone. It’s my pleasure to inform you that our cost-cutting measures have paid off, and we’re all doing well financially.”

Ethicist: “You mean the hospitals are doing well?”

Chairman: “What? What’s the hospital got to do with my well-being?”

CEO: “One of the measures we’ve had to take is letting all of the anesthesiologists go. Paying them an’ all that gas they use is expensive. We looked into chloroform, but the nurses kept passing out before we could apply it.”

Ethicist: “Well, how do you plan to put people under during surgery?”

Chairman: “Fortunately, Ed, here owns a hardware store and has given us a deal on hammers.”

Ethicist: “You’re going to hit people on the head with hammers? That’s barbaric, plus this is a clear conflict of interest.”

Ed: “It don’t conflict with my interests none. I’m happy to git rid of the hammers. I got a nice deal on chainsaws for operations and such, too.”

Chairman: “By the way, Gene says his ambulances is getting old and they’re costin’ him too much money to keep up. Fortunately, he also owns a truckin’ company, so from now on we’ll be using flatbed trucks, trailers in cooler weather to transport the patients over to Balmer. We kin git more patients into ‘em at one time an’ won’t have to make as many trips. We’ll charge the same, of course, Gene’s gotta make a living. We’re saving money by growing our own chickens, usin’ the incubators up to obstetrics. It don’t hurt none to have some them babies double up.”

Ethicist: “That’s outrageous, don’t you have any concern for the patients?”

Chairman: “Course we do, but we wouldn’t be helping them if we’re all in court filing for bankruptcy now would we?”

Chairman: “Speaking of lookin’ out for the patients, we’ve let the security company go an’ hired Carrie’s outfit, which trains pit bulls. We’ll let ‘em out into the hallways at night an’ that should do the trick nicely.”

Ethicist: “What about visitors or nurses who may be on the floor at that time?”

Chairman: “We’ve cut out visiting hours. It’s just a problem, what with families asking a lot of irrelevant questions and hiring lawyers an’ such. We’re letting the nurses wrap theirselves in all the blankets we’ve got around here to protect themselves if they got to leave their booths. Most of the patients have fevers anyways so they don’t need no blankets.”

Ethicist: “Are there any plans to cut back on emergency room services?”

Chairman: “Well, as you know, the emergency room’s been running at a loss for some time now, what with all the people usin’ it that don’t have insurance. One of the problems is that we have to run so many tests to cover our backsides in case something happens. So we’re doing away with that an’ we’re going to be using Tom’s son, who lives in his basement to collate all the symptoms the patients are complaining about and look up similar symptoms on the internet. He’s found a site called “Bob’s Pretty Good Diagnosis Center.com” where it’ll tell him what the problem probably is. Cut our costs by more than half.”

Ethicist: “Don’t you see that you’re putting your own self-interests ahead of the patients?”

Chairman: “I thought I explained that to you. What do you do around here anyway?”

Ethicist: “I’m the hospital chaplain, here to comfort the patients and their families and to help you with any ethical questions you might have.”

Chairman: “We’ve got plenty of ethnics around here, I don’t think we need another one. And we ain’t allowing family and friends in no more since they only give the patient a false hope of large lawsuits. As far as comfortin’ them, we pipe Miss Sarah singing gospel into their headphones. Plus we sell their kids copies of ‘Healthy Holly’ books since we’ve got 50,000 of ‘em we need to unload.”

Secretary: “Mr. Chairman, there’s someone here from the sheriff’s office to see you.”

Chairman: “What do you have to say, young man?”

Deputy: “You have the right to remain silent.”

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