HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » On Purposely Getting Arre...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:05 PM

On Purposely Getting Arrested, to Get Life-Saving Surgery

by Joshua Mezrich

A 41-year-old man who was incarcerated came to see me recently. A few years ago, he'd been incarcerated. While in prison he got in a fight, which led to a CT scan. He hadn't broken anything, but the scan did surreptitiously show two aneurysms. Both were in his hepatic artery (the artery that feeds his liver).

They were small, so the doctors kept an eye on the aneurysms without doing surgery. But the next time they checked, they had nearly doubled in size.

He was referred to a surgeon at a different hospital than the one I work at, and underwent an angiogram, to see the aneurysms better. The surgeons there said that he was sure to die if they did not intervene, and that they should schedule a surgery within the coming weeks.

Fortunately for him (or so he thought) he was released from prison one week later. When he returned for his pre-op visit, though, he was told that since he'd been released from prison, he no longer had insurance to cover the operation.

He asked what he should do. The told him to figure out how to get insurance.

more

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/02/on-purposely-getting-arrested-to-get-life-saving-surgery/273282/

9 replies, 1177 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply On Purposely Getting Arrested, to Get Life-Saving Surgery (Original post)
n2doc Feb 2013 OP
bunnies Feb 2013 #1
DreamGypsy Feb 2013 #2
hobbit709 Feb 2013 #3
SCVDem Feb 2013 #4
DaveJ Feb 2013 #5
n2doc Feb 2013 #7
avebury Feb 2013 #6
JEB Feb 2013 #8
Liberal_in_LA Feb 2013 #9

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:31 PM

1. "figure out how to get insurance"

I was recently told the same exact thing by my doctor as I too am in need of surgery. And I have to tell you that I was SO pissed off at her when she uttered those words. As if there was some fucking magic way for those of us who don't have it to suddenly get it. No problem. FFS. If we COULD get it... we WOULD.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:33 PM

2. The cited article by Dr. Mezrich is a good read ...

... about the realities of health care from the point of view of a transplant surgeon.

Some additional comments from the article that I found compelling:

A recent study showed that out of over 2,300 bankruptcy filers in the United States in 2007, greater than 60 percent of them were caused at least in part by medical illness. It is hard as a physician to watch patients and families who are scared, facing these difficult times in their lives, also knowing that they are going down a pathway to bankruptcy from which they may never recover.

<snip>

In my own field, transplant surgery, patients have to be insured to be eligible for transplantation. This is generally not a problem for patients with kidney failure, as anyone with a work history becomes eligible for Medicare regardless of age or disability status.

Any patient with end stage liver disease who does not have insurance (and is not eligible for Medicare) has the option of trying to qualify for state-funded Medicaid (which includes demonstrating both poverty and disability), stealing moisturizing cream from a department store, or dying.

I have personally taken care of a number of patients who did not want to put their family through the formidable weight of bankruptcy and opted for number three.


Difficult choices have to be made by individuals about health care decisions and the impacts on loved ones and society.

Thanks for the post, n2doc.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:35 PM

3. Proving once again that what we need is health COVERAGE and not FUCKING Insurance.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:21 PM

4. we need the entire package

Medical, dental and vision!

Any one without the rest is still debilitating.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:56 PM

5. I think the status quo just wants us to be miserable

One way or another, we need to be either in prison, working 70 hours a week, demonized for collecting welfare, whatever it is, anything but the feeling of security and happiness... which they see as a horrible weakness.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DaveJ (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:05 PM

7. and scared

So that we never take risks, never try to fight for better things, or for better jobs. Fear is the goal.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:00 PM

6. Nobody in this country should be

forced to go to prison just to get life saving medical care.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:12 PM

8. Insurance companies are sucking the blood out of this country.

Medicare for all would stimulate the economy and lift the doldrums that have engulfed us.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:33 PM

9. He told me the judge said "I'll give you 14 months, go get your surgery." Humane judge

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread