23-Year-Old American Dies at Bangkok Hospital Under Mysterious Circumstances

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Distribution or publication of this release in the country of Thailand is strictly prohibited.

On Feb. 24, 2006, a 23-year-old American man and resident of both California and New York, died at Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Mr. Joshua Goldberg had traveled to Thailand to be ordained as a Buddhist Monk at Thambrabok Monastery in late January of 2006.

The deceased was cremated and enshrined at the monastery and was posthumously ordained on March 7, 2006.

Until 1996, National Medical Enterprises aka Tenet, was a significant owner of Bumrungrad, according to SEC records and Bumrungrad website information. A recent discovery of Tenet's 2001 SEC filings, claims that Bumrungrad was, during that period, claimed as a 100% owned subsidiary. Subsequent filings do not reveal any further mention of Tenet's ownership of Bumrungrad Hospital. See: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/70318/000091205701529717/a2056090zex-21.htm

Bumrungrad, for it's part, makes no reference of any ownership by Tenet since 1996 in it's filings with the Thai Securities Commission.

This inconsistency is being investigated.

James Goldberg, the deceased father, has requested answers concerning the specifics of his son's death from Bumrungrad Hospital and The Joint Commission's International division.

"Both the hospital and the Joint Commission have remained silent in responding to questions relating to my son's hospital care, medications and circumstances around the time of his death," said Mr. Goldberg from his home outside of New York City.

The Thai police and various US government agencies have joined in the investigation.

According to the Joint Commission's website, they and their subsidiaries are a non-profit company, empowered to accredit hospitals so that accredited hospitals can become eligible to receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement.

Bumrungrad Hospital has referred Mr. Goldberg to the Bangkok Insurance company lawyers, the hospital's insurers who, according to Thai Stock Market public information and Bumrungrad's 2004 Annual Report (BH), are also part owners of the hospital.

Bangkok Insurance has been unresponsive to date.

The father of the deceased commissioned independent forensic and pharmacological analysis, which have carefully examined the standards of care and the drug interactions associated with his son's hospitalization and death. Results can be viewed at http://www.bumrungraddeath.com on a restricted access basis.

In the midst of this fast emerging phenomena of Medical Tourism, many foreign hospitals have sought accreditation from the Joint Commission (approximately 100 thus far).

The accredition establishes standards similar to those provided for US accredited hospitals. Mauren Potter, Executive Director of the Joint Commission International, states that "compliance with these standards is solely voluntary."

The legislation under which this right to "deem" accreditation in lieu of the US Government is embodied in specific provisions of the Social Security Amendment Act of 1965, which also requires that the Joint Commission or others to authorized by the US government, establish standards which are to be overseen, monitored and enforced. (TITLE 42--THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE, SUBCHAPTER II--PROVISIONS RELATING TO ACCREDITATION AND APPROVAL, Sec. 14922. Process for accreditation and approval; role of accrediting entities)

The Joint Commission for Hospital Accreditation started its international program in 1999. Of the 88 hospitals it has accredited, 86 are still accredited. That's less than a 1/3 of 1% rate of attrition...similar in proportion to the number of hospitals in the US whose accreditation has been revoked or, according to the Joint Commission's statistics, less than 1%.

Jim Goldberg, father of the deceased, has met with both sides of the US Congress urging legislation to deal with Medical Tourism and international accreditation of hospitals by the Joint Commission.

According to the Bumrungrad hospital chart provided to Mr. James Goldberg on or around March 8, 2006, the victim was given 14 different drugs on the day of his death -- "Six of which are known to be contraindicated," says by Dr. Henry Cohen, Professor of Pharmacology at Long Island University, Kings County Medical Center in New York City.

In the opinion of Board Certified American forensic specialist, Dr. Anna Vertkin of Mill Valley, Calif., the 23-year-old died of "Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome," which is a swelling of the brain, the inducement of coma and the shutting down of the central nervous system.

Mr. James Goldberg is returning to Bangkok to join in the Royal Thai Police investigation during June 2006.

This information is not for USE or PUBLICATION or DISTRIBUTION in Thailand.

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