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CA patient-interpreter bill aims to overcome language barriers

Los Angeles Times, August 19, 2013
Five years ago, Julio Perez's mother didn't understand what the doctors and nurses were saying. Her 4-year-old son, Perez's younger brother, was on a ventilator, his health worsening as bacteria in his blood began infecting his vital organs. But Perez said his mother didn't know what doctors were trying to tell her when they woke her up in the hospital, sometimes at 3 in the morning, with news about her young son. She speaks limited English, Perez said, and the hospital didn't have an interpreter available. So Perez, 19 at the time, did the interpreting for her and the doctors.