Washington Hospital lawyers pressure theater not to show Life for Sale

I hope this doesn’t use too much memory. Lawyers for Washington Hospital sent this letter to Cinemark Theatres in San Jose advising them not to show the movie Life for Sale, which accuses Washington of several misdeeds.

An employee for The Orb, which produced the film told me Cinemark backed out of showing the film after receiving the letter. Washington is a public hospital, which, I think means, taxpayers pay for its legal bills. I didn’t include the second page of the letter. There wasn’t much there to justify the technical complexities.

Matt Artz


  1. Let’s all munch on our popcorn as Washington Hospital makes a fool of itself over nothing. It’s neither the best nor worst hospital I’ve been to. Attacks like this film are better left ignored. Lawyers only draw attention.

  2. Thanks for posting this, Matt. This wouldn’t have made the paper -another benefit to this blog. Can I ask who exactly signed the letter?

  3. Steven P. Ragland.

    Looks like he’s a low level associate at the law firm. Meaning Washington Hospital is either a small apples client or they rented a lawyer to write this letter.

  4. Just to let the general know, ever since “The Argus” first published reports of the “Life for Sale” movie that was filmed, Washington Hospital Ceo Nancy Farber has instructed hospital staff not to deliver the daily copy of The Argus to patients or employees. The daily bundle of newspapers are still delivered to the hospital but end up in the trash.

  5. To a large degree, I agree with Jon Simon’s sentiment on this issue. (Bet you never thought you’d hear that did you Jon ?) But maybe for a slightly different reason.

    I have not seen the movie and wouldn’t waste my time in doing so – but from what I’ve read in the media, the “issues” are nothing more than have been widely reported as generally plaguing our health care system and most medical care institutions nation-wide.

    That’s not to say that one cannot find good practice and healthcare – but, the nature of healthcare today (and all other for-profit institutions) places the providers in a position of juggling economics and quality of care. Those that argue otherwise need to pay closer attention to the ongoing public debate and need for healthcare reform.

    There’s little in the Washington Hospital film that hasn’t been widely claimed to impact healthcare in general – so why the debate and ensuing spectacle ?

    Move on and ignore these fleas.

  6. The movie seems to touched a raw nerve at Washington Hospital especially with the CEO. Instead of ignoring the documentary, they spent a huge amount on full page advertisements to draw attention to the movie. No almost everyone in the district has heard Dr Li’s name.
    Let’s ee if it helps her garner some votes.

  7. Just so everyone knows – Dr. Li hired her son to as producer and her daughter as the director of this movie. The majority of people involved in its production and promotion are her siblings and nephews/neices or current employees.

  8. I had no idea, this hospital had this kind of a reputation. Over the past 2 months, my wife have been going through the most traumatic period of our lives thanks to this hospital. It started on Mar 10 when my wife had a pain in her lower abdomen. We took a preg. test and since it turned positive, we went to our primary care who immediately asked us to visit the emergency at the Washington Hospital. We reached there, checked in and after a traumatic 4-5 hours of scans and blood test, the doctor said that this looked like an ectopic. She was operated but they didn’t find anything that had the ectopic tissues. She was in the hosiptal for that night as well. Though the pain subsided then (probably the pain killers and the anasthesia doing the trick) – it was back again and we had several trips to the Palo Alto medical foundation. The pregnancy levels continued to increase and she then had to take a chemical to kill it off (since even the PAMF was not able to detect the pregnancy). The pains continued and after several weeks of in and out, it was diagnosed as a pinched nerve (probably from the surgery or the anasthesia). My wife now is in constant pain – she has been reduced to a mere shadow of her cheerful self. Pain-killers, ice packs and physio therapy. All thanks to this great hospital.

    And wait I didnt tell you the best part – the bill that we received is to the tune of 45,000 (thankfully, we have a great insurance – so we are safe) – but I can’t think of what this hospital might do to a common poor person. This hospital should be shut down. Anyone hears me ???

    I know I can’t be sure that its this hospital that has turned our life upside down and that I can’t prove it either. I hope we find some way …or someone finds a way to make this right …someday ..somehow. Everytime I look at my wife, I just see the pain, the sorrow and then I get this feeling of absolute hatred against this hospital and thee US mediccal system in general.

    -A tired guy

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