Monday, July 20, 2009

Our healthcare system

Voices are saying that health care is going to be socialized medicine if President Obama gets his way. If we are in such good shape that we don't need a socialized health care system, why is it that it took doctors 10 years to diagnose my son Erik's stage 5 kidney failure. This is what our reality in this country looks like, even with Medicare and Medicaid. Erik had to sit through years of futile doctors' appointments. Not once during that time did a doctor look at Erik's whole body, took his blood pressure, checked his stacks of records even though Erik had numerous broken bones. The kidney failure could have been diagnosed 10 years ago. The 20 something doctors that pretended to have seen Erik did not see it necessary to take a closer look at him. Instead they repeated a false label of "cerebral palsy" that a doctor attached to his name to cover up his mistake. All those doctors were paid with tax payer dollars while Erik's condition worsened. At one point Erik's leg was supposed to be amputated. It didn't happen because I prevented it.

Is treatment like that really better than socialized medicine? Given what I experienced with Erik I take it gladly. In the countries where it is practiced, you may need to wait a few more weeks. But after those extra weeks, you get a valid diagnosis and and you get treated with compassion, and the doctor actually looks at you. Erik wound up in a wheelchair even though his mother was his mouthpiece. She told the doctors what to look for.

I find this system barbaric, a crying shame and more. The reason why Erik did not get help is not because we have a system that failed him. I would rather say that this country has lost its social conscience. Is it really cheaper to remain mired in merciless technology and doctors that act like robots or should we not instead stop quibbling about words and get with it and do the right thing even though it might look a bit like socialized medicine?

Granted there were doctors, few and far between, who eventually helped him. But it certainly was not because we have a superior system.


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