Medicine system failures; Catholic Church survival
Taking a moment to step away from my “Human Ethos” writings, two thoughts loom large in my mind this morning. The medicine system (in this case, within America since I am not equipped to speak for any other country nor culture) and its continuing failures.
Separately, my thoughts are also on the Catholic Church pursuing survival, which I’ll get to later.
The medicine system in this country has, for as long as I can recall, been at best lacking and often down to a matter of good luck in terms of getting constructive help. Today is no different than any other day. I hear it over and over again people who need medical help can’t get the help they need. Now, as if that wasn’t bad enough, people who have been lucky enough to receive help in the form of medicines for years are having that support just stripped away.
One friend of mine has for many years now a number of “permanent” illnesses, things like bipolar depression, fibromyalgia, arthritis, diabetes and other illnesses that escape my memory at the moment. Over many years of testing and coping with many different treatments and medicines, including holistic and surgery, her previous doctors concluded and supported that she needs the medicines she is on and needs ongoing pharmaceutical support – period. Her current doctor disagrees and she is losing nearly all of her medicine support. What happens when nearly all of her prescriptions run out? She will suffer pain, more than she’s already having to cope with because the effectiveness of the medicines can do only so much. More pain she shouldn’t have to suffer with.
I know my Ex would literally die pretty quickly without her slew of daily medicines. Another friend of mine has waited months for one injection for one of her bad knees; the condition of her knees long ago verified as “qualified” to receive this one injection (never mind that actually she probably needs more than just one injection and that actually both her knees are bad).
The accounts of similar struggles out there from folks is innumerable. There’s many out there with long-term illnesses who have been on pharmaceutical support regimens for years.
What happens when their supposed doctor or “medical provider” (I have to put that in quotes because in this case it hardly seems like providing medicine/help is what is actually happening) decides to basically arbitrarily and based on their own specifically biased judgment, just take those life-supporting medicines away?
These folks, the patients, because of the medical/insurance system have nothing constructive they can do, regardless of the numerous “assistance” services which more often than not end up to be referral services to nowhere.
For the record, I’ve spent the majority of my life working hard to avoid becoming another of Big Pharma’s consumers. I, myself, am not keen on Big Pharma’s chemicals. I fight for my right to choose for myself, to keep on self-medicating myself; and if it goes wrong, then it’s my fault and no one else’s.
And that’s precisely part of the problem; folks out there who are essentially terrified of responsibility, a shared under-current running through-out the medical systems. Of course, no one wants to be arrested and/or sued out of some functional existence. No one wants to be held liable or responsible. And of course no one wants to support those folks who abuse the medical/pharmaceutical system (and that’s a whole different subject there).
And there’s the issue of “addiction.” This is one of those topics that I’m sure I’ll be writing more about some other time. Briefly though, the concern and debate is what is the difference between medicines addiction and long-term support? It can be tricky grey area to navigate. And then there are the driving factors of politics and the medical systems’ revenues.
So they send folks/patients through innumerable tests (most of which come back with the same old, unhelpful “inconclusive”), which costs tons of money, never mind the emotional toll, stress and trauma of having to undergo tests, all the while still suffering from whatever is ailing at the moment and getting no relief from that ailment. Then the matter is referred to half a dozen different “specialists,” all with no relief to the person in need, aka the patient.
With-holding and/or delaying medicines people have come to rely upon for daily survival, where it’s been medically determined that such chemicals/drugs are of established constructive help, is a form of harm which results in injury and suffering. So, once again, instead of actually helping people who come with the sacred trust of their body and are in need of help, the medical system is actually hurting and increasing suffering… again and still.
Most folks feel overwhelmed, frightened and out-numbered to do anything to fight against a system that isn’t helpful to them. The cost is entirely untenable to pursue medical help on one’s own, if it’s even available. And the unfortunate real fear of the insurance company altogether abandoning the person in need from that and future medical help.
Myself, I’ve been *very* fortunate to very seldom actually need the medical system and on those few occasions where I have needed the system, it actually did work. I was very lucky. But it shouldn’t be up to luck to receive medical help and support when a person needs it. But many, many times that is just the way it is.
Over the years and most of the time “improvements” to the medical system have amounted to basically temporary bandages. Because times, revenue, politics, and needs aren’t static, it would seem that bandages is about the best the system can do.
Meantime, people with illnesses continue to struggle along and continue to suffer.
That said however, I have tremendous respect and gratitude for doctors and nurses who do everything they can, even at times placing themselves at great risk, to help the sick and injured, no matter the pressures and politics surrounding them.
p.s. Next blog entry, I’ll aim to write about the Catholic Church.