Council Member Jenn Ruggles Puts Queen’s Hospital on Notice for Committing War Crimes Against Native Hawaiians

Council member Jen Ruggles released a letter she sent last week notifying Queen’s Health Systems of the illegal and prolonged occupation of Hawai’i and how it appears it may be violating the rights of protected persons in Hawai’i. She stated that she, as an agent for the United States, which is an occupying Power, and one who took an oath to support the constitution of the United States, is bound to uphold the 1907 Hague Convention, IV, and the 1949 Geneva Convention, IV, and ensure respect for the conventions in all circumstances.

In her letter Council member Ruggles referenced a February 25, 2018 communication from United Nations Independent Expert, Dr. Alfred M. deZayas, to the State of Hawai‘i judges in which he stated:

“I have come to understand that the lawful political status of the Hawaiian Islands is that of a sovereign nation-state in continuity; but a nation-state that is under a strange form of occupation by the United States resulting from an illegal military occupation and a fraudulent annexation. As such, international laws (the Hague and Geneva Conventions) require that governance and legal matters within the occupied territory of the Hawaiian Islands must be administered by the application of the laws of the occupied state (in this case, the Hawaiian Kingdom), not the domestic laws of the occupier (the United States).”

The U.S. Senate ratified the Hague and Geneva Conventions making both of these treaties part of federal law under Article VI of the federal constitution and which must be faithfully carried out in territory that the United States is occupying. As a whistle blower, Council member Ruggles sees it as her duty to hold individuals and other officials of the State of Hawai‘i and the United States government accountable for violations of the provisions of the Hague and Geneva Conventions and the rights of civilians within the occupied territory under the title of protected persons.

Council member Ruggles came to learn that the Queen’s Hospital was formed as a corporation on June 20, 1859. Article One of the Hospital’s Charter provides for the establishment of a permanent hospital for the “treatment of indigent sick and disabled Hawaiians, as well as such foreigners and others who may choose to avail themselves of the same.” It was understood, at the time, that the term ‘Hawaiians’ meant aboriginal Hawaiians, both pure and part. Under the Charter, the Hawaiian Monarch served as President of a Board of Trustees comprised of ten persons to be appointed by the government and ten persons to be elected by corporation shareholders.

The government appropriated funding for the maintenance of the hospital.

In 1900, George W. Smith, a Trustee of Queen’s Hospital, stated in an article published by the Pacific Commercial Advertiser that “Queen’s Hospital is, from the nature of its charter, a quasi-private institution. When it was chartered it was provided that all Hawaiians of native birth, should be treated free of charge. Foreigners were to be treated by payment of fees.”

No other country or government in the world at the time is known by her to have had such a system of government subsidized health care for a majority of its national population which was free of charge. The Soviet government followed this practice in 1920, but that was due to the political theory of communism. After the Second World War, in 1948, the British government followed suit, which, like the Hawaiian Kingdom, was not a communist State. The Nordic countries followed with Sweden in 1955, Iceland in 1956, Norway in 1956, Denmark in 1961, and Finland in 1964. The United States has never subsidized health care free of charge.

After pressure to sever the Hawaiian government’s interest in Queen’s Hospital and to no longer admit native Hawaiians free of charge, the Board of Trustees, with the approval of Territorial Governor, Walter F. Frear, amended the Charter. In 1909, the phrase in the original 1859 Charter “for the treatment of indigent sick and disabled Hawaiians” was replaced with “for the treatment of sick and disabled persons.” The change was made secretively. The only news coverage it received at the time was in one newspaper, the Evening Bulletin, which made no mention of the change of servicing aboriginal Hawaiians free of charge. Under the title of “IS APPROVED TRUSTEES REDUCED,” the Bulletin wrote,

“By the new amendment to their character, the application for which was approved by Governor Frear this morning, the number of trustees of Queen’s Hospital will be reduced from twenty to seven members. The responsibility of the government trusteeship will also cease with the new articles of incorporation.”

By 1939, Victor Stewart Kaleoaloha Houston, a former Congressional delegate for the Territory of Hawai‘i, “was presenting lectures at various Hawaiian Civic Clubs castigating Queen’s Hospital for ignoring Native Hawaiians’ medical needs and reneging on the promises of the original charter. In newspapers the main themes of Houston’s one man challenge to Queen’s practices was set out for the public by these questions: What ever happened to free medical care for Hawaiians and what is Queen’s doing with the Queen Emma Trust monies?”

Gradually aboriginal Hawaiians were denied health care unless they paid, and as time went on, this provision of the Queen’s Hospital charter was nearly forgotten. In 1967, the name of Queen’s Hospital was changed to the Queen’s Medical Center. In 1985, the Queen’s Health Systems with a Board of Trustees was established as the parent company of Queen’s Medical Center along with Molokai General Hospital, North Hawai‘i Community Hospital, Queen Emma Land Company, Queen’s Development Corporation, and Queen’s Insurance Exchange.  Under Queen’s Health Systems there are four hospitals—The Queen’s Medical Center, The Queen’s Medical Center – West O‘ahu, Molokai General Hospital, and North Hawai‘i Community Hospital—and  seven health care centers in Hawai‘i Kai, Hilo, two in Honolulu, Kapolei, Kaua‘i and Kona. I will refer to the corporation by its original name, the Queen’s Hospital.

Hawaiian subjects of aboriginal blood, both pure and part, are protected persons whose rights during the U.S. occupation are protected under the Geneva Convention. Council member Ruggles sees that it is also her duty as a whistle blower and agent for the United States to ensure that their rights are respected and enforced. According to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, “Today, Native Hawaiians are perhaps the single racial group with the highest health risk in the State of Hawai‘i. This risk stems from high economic and cultural stress, lifestyle and risk behaviors, and late or lack of access to health care.” The ‘lack of access to health care’ is what troubles Council member Ruggles knowing that the Queen’s Hospital was specifically established, under Hawaiian Kingdom law, to provide for their health care, free of charge.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross Commentaries, Article 47 of the Geneva Convention means that “changes made in the internal organization of the State must not lead to protected persons being deprived of the rights and safeguards provided them. Consequently it must be possible for the Convention to be applied to them in its entirety, even if the Occupying Power has introduced changes in the institutions or government of the occupied territory.” Furthermore, under the provisions of Article 50 of the GCIV regarding preferential measures for children’s medical care, in this case with the Queen’s Hospital, the occupying State “who occupied the whole or part of a territory where such measures are in force, cannot on any pretext abrogate them or place obstacles in the way of their application. This rule applies not only to preferential measures prescribed in the Convention but to any other measures of the same nature taken by the occupied State.”

Council member Ruggles stated that the changes to the charter since 1909 violate the Hague and Geneva Conventions. In light of these violations, she called upon the Chief Executive Office of the Queen’s Health System, Mr. Art Ushijima, and the “Board of Trustees to comply with the 1859 Charter and to admit aboriginal Hawaiians, as that term was understood under Kingdom law, for medical care free of charge. Failure to do so [would] appear to constitute to constitute war crimes under Article 47 and 50 of the [Geneva Convention, IV].”

Council member Ruggles alerted Mr. Ushijima to the fact that there “seems to be a direct nexus of deaths of aboriginal Hawaiians as ‘the single racial group with the highest health risk in the State of Hawai‘i [that] stems from…late or lack of access to health care’ to the crime of genocide as defined by the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The Genocide Convention was also ratified by the United States Senate, and, like the Hague and Geneva Conventions, are a part of United States federal law.


22 thoughts on “Council Member Jenn Ruggles Puts Queen’s Hospital on Notice for Committing War Crimes Against Native Hawaiians

  1. Truly, deepest thanks. I can’t even imagine what having access to appropriate care would have done for me or how it could have bettered my life in the past 30+ years. Seeing it laid out like this is emotional. Let us know if there is a response.

  2. I appreciate this work. I appreciate all of this work but I must necessarily reserve my full support. Before I can be entirely supportive, I need to know exactly how the term “aboriginal Hawaiians” and the term “Hawaiian” was used and understood under Kingdom Law/lawful precedence during the time our Ali’i founded the Hospital to begin with. In what cases/instances were the terms used? When were they used? And so on… Unfortunately, I’ve never heard the term “aboriginal Hawaiians” used before and the definition of “Hawaiian” as I’ve been taught, refers to one’s Nationality, (birth place), not necessarily their ethnicity. I’ve been informed that it was not until much later that the definition of the term “Hawaiian” was changed to refer to a person’s ethnicity instead of their Nationality which is evidence of fraud at the least and genocide at the worst. So, if you could please provide more information about and lawful support via Kingdom law for the terms to help clear some things up for everyone, that would be greatly appreciated. Mahalo! 🙂

  3. I should say, when I wrote ethnicity, I was referring to the race or genetic make up of a person. I think I misused the word ethnicity. Oops. My bad. 🙂

  4. I could argue that race is a very big part of a person’s ethnicity where as in Nationality, only the origin of the Nation is made apparent. But, I don’t want to argue. I just want to be clear that I was referring specifically to the genetic make up of a person or their race when I used the word ethnicity. Sorry for the confusion. I just want to be as clear as possible with the terms I use. 🙂

  5. At the time that Queen’s Hospital was founded, the term “Hawaiian” identified all people who were subjects of the Kingdom of Hawaii as the Country was called at the time in English. During the time Queen’s hospital was founded, the majority of the population of the Kingdom of Hawaii were of the “kanaka maoli” race of people but, there were many Hawaiians who were not kanaka maoli yet were considered “Hawaiian” via their membership in the Kingdom. So, all Hawaiians, (covering all races of people that were subjects of the Kingdom of Hawaii), who were both sick and poor as well as seamen who sailed under the Hawaiian flag, (regardless of race), were eligible for free health care from the Queen’s Hospital. Foreigners were not eligible for free health care from the Queen’s Hospital.

    Please take the time to read the following which should shed some light on the topic:

    • All Hawaiians (Hawaiian Subjects) had ‘free’ health care from Queen’s hospital? What page, chapter and paragraph can I find this information?

      • Oh Sorry! Not ALL Hawaiian Subjects had free health care. Only the sick, poor, and indigent. Also, please refer to the Kingdom Government Act of 1849 regarding the Queen’s hospital and who it was meant for. It cleared a lot up for me. Kaukaohu Wahilani has included a copy of the Act with their copies of Jen Ruggles and Sai’s letter. There is mention of “Aboriginal Hawaiians” in the Act described simply as “Hawaiians”. So, I stand corrected. But, as I suspected, the Act clearly states who Queen’s hospital was meant to benefit and included, pretty much, all poor, sick, and indigent people in the Kingdom

        • Just so you know, I didn’t just say “All Hawaiian subjects.” Here is in fact, what I said in it’s entirety. If you’re going to quote someone, common practice is to quote the whole sentence. And if you read the whole sentence you should be able to ascertain who is eligible.

          “So, all Hawaiians, (covering all races of people that were subjects of the Kingdom of Hawaii), who were both sick and poor as well as seamen who sailed under the Hawaiian flag, (regardless of race), were eligible for free health care from the Queen’s Hospital.”

          • Just go read the Kingdom Government Act for yourself. It’s better stated than what I have stated. I pau talk about this already.

          • What Keanu Sai quoted was just like how you quoted me, only part of the Act was quoted. So, the true meaning of the ENTIRE Act was not shared as is appropriate, necessary, and common to do.

          • I have no idea how come some people think it’s ok to only quote or refer to a portion of a law or sentence that they happen to like while disregarding the rest. You can not do that in a court of law. You can not do that anywhere and make any TRUE sense.

          • I meant the 1859 Kingdom Government Act, not 1849 as previously stated. Oops.

        • oh smack, I gotta’ correct myself again. There’s no mention of “aboriginal Hawaiians” in the small portion of the Act that was quoted by Kaukaohu Wahilani. So my original assertions remain, until proven otherwise incorrect.

          • I just really really really want to know, how Keanu Sai et al came to the conclusion that “aboriginal Hawaiian” simply means, “Hawaiian” when the Act was created for Queen’s Hospital. Anybody?

          • I really really really want to know how Keanu Sai came to the conclusion that at the time Kingdom laws/Acts etc. were being made (around 1859), the term Hawaiian meant “Aboriginal Hawaiian”. I want to know this BECAUSE such a conclusion has the potential to change EVERYTHING about who the Acts/Laws at the time were meant for. All of us subjects/denizens? Or only some depending on the race?

          • I can not, I may not, as an intelligent person, bring myself to accept Keanu Sai’s definition of “Hawaiian” without evidence to support his definition. I’m not that stupid and the ramifications are too great for his definition to go unsupported.

  6. I have to stand corrected. I read the Kingdom Government Act provided by Kaukaohu Wahilani. Please read the Act as well so you know who the Queen’s hospital was in fact meant to benefit. A copy of the Act is posted via video on the Aha Aloha Aina facebook page for your convenience. Mahalo!

  7. In future correspondence in which Kingdom laws/acts/precedence etc. is referred to or implied, please include a copy/reference of any Kingdom law/act/precedence etc. that you are referring to in order to help support your letter and alleviate confusion/miscommunication. Mahalo!!!!!!! 😀

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