Dr. Christopher B. Cutter's letter of June 17, 1998 to the Los Angeles Times regarding the death of Nicholaus Contrarez

I have read with great disgust of the unnecessary death of Contreraz while interned at the Oracle Arizona Boys Ranch. If the information that you gave regarding the autopsy findings is correct, then we may all safely assume that his death did not need to occur, and was wholly reversible up until the day he died.

Empyema of the chest is basically a complication of pneumonia, whereby the chest cavity fills with pus. It doesn't happen overnight and while very serious, can almost always be cured with surgical drainage and antibiotics. The fact that this boy sought medical care from a so-called health professional on a daily basis for days before he died is grounds for murder charges. I believe that any concerned RN or MD would be able to see that the kid was sick as hell and should have ordered additional investigation (like a chest X-ray) or at least consultation.

Please tell us this place will be shut down immediately. At least let us remove all of our California kids someplace where their care can be properly overseen. God help us if we allow this to go on.


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