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August 29, 2004

Comments

Chuck Conway

“I think there is a certain amount of moral responsibility that comes with it.”

Everyone has moral responsibility. Do they recognize it or do they use a cop-out?

Jon you have some great points. Remember we live in a semi-capitalist society. Competition is key the success of this type of society. This is one of the reasons we have such advance medical care, because there is an incentive to create such care.

Standardized medicine would remove the incentive to develop superior medical care. Everyone would have marginal care. America would quickly fall from the highest peaks of medicine to the lowest throngs of hell. Rare and unique diseases would go untreated because only one percent of the population is afflicted with them. Revenues could not be justified to find a cure for such a small percentage of the population.

The problem is not the medical care system. It’s the people. Government was created for one purpose: The protection of rights. Government is now turning into caretaker. The more governments give the more is wanted. Then government wants more control, and should be giving control of those using the system. I’ll stop here because I can go off on this issue.

I am part American Indian and I have access to free medical care. I choose not to use it. When I did go I was treated like dog shit on a conveyer belt -- Just another person in the system. I went to a private practice and paid out of my pocket to get care. My new doctor remembered my name and conversations we had during previous visits.

A part of the population will always need medical assistance: Mentally handicapped, managed person (loss of a limb or something), children and some with unique and rare diseases.

In thinking about the issue of medical care there are so many issues at hand. The education required is immense. Most doctors have to dedicate a 10th of their life to be educated just for an opportunity to practice medicine. Malpractice insurance is a must, specialized equipment and faculties add to the costs.

In every system someone loses. It’s sad.

Maybe a solution could be having medical care for children to the age of 16 (assuming their parents don’t have any).

Instead of standardized medicine the government should standardize gym memberships. Healthy lifestyles are the best medicine for a country and preventing the problem instead of finding a cure.

Imagine what impact images of severely obese people would have on a health class of 9th graders. People who are so fat, they can’t turn their bodies over.

For every pound of extra fat on ones body is like having 6 Big Macs hanging off your body.

Julian

This isssue currently falls very near and dear to my heart right. This past summer I spent almost two months in a hospital bed. I had intestines that were so ulcerated that the docotors feared they would puncture on there own and I would hve bleed to death internally. I went from being 190lbs and very much in shape, to being 143lbs and barely being able to climb up a few stairs. There are so many horrific details that I will leave out, simply because they are unnecessary for this post. At first I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, which is a life time disease. Then instead the docotors at Johns Hopkins Hospital came back and diagnosed me with an extremely rare vascular virus called Henoch-Scholein Purpura. This HSP basically has your immune system attacking your healthy organs. It attacked my intestinal track, kidneys, skin, and there is a possiblity that I now have arthritis from it. HSP is so rare that the number one hospital in the US, which is Johns Hopkins Hospital has seen a total of three other cases of HSP. Anyhow let me rewind a second, because this may have all started back in the winter and spring.

I began seeing a dermatologist to clear up some minor acne. It was nothing that was really bad, just something I wanted to get rid of. So this doctor tried several medications and they were mostly just antibiotics. Not such a good thing because while you are taking thoose antibiotics your body's bacteria is building an immunity to them, so when you really need the antibiotics there not going to work. Anyhow after some brief research on my own I went to my doctor an asked about Accutane(isotretinoin). He gave me some information and I then started on a five month long journey with the medication, though it would be four months and then two months hospitilaztion. You can see where this is going. In the end the doctor had me on a dosage that was the equivalent of 260lbs person, again I weighed 190lbs at the time. Simple math, right.
In the past few weeks I have been doing great research on this topic, what the doctors wont say is that yeah this drug could of started all this. Oh yeah, the little they do understand about Henoch-Scholein Purpura is that it can be cited by a severe allergic reaction to a drug or food. With what research I have done, here is what I have found. Accutane is the equivalent of taking very high dosages of vitamin A, vitamin A is an immune system enhancer, HSP is your immune system attacking your body. The part that gets me though is that I was not given all the possible side effects.

You see they can not link HSP to Accutane directly as of yet. But they can link Accutane to increased brain pressure, severe depression(has lead to suicides), Crohn's disease, birth defects, and the list continues on an on. To top it all off, the actual drug companies that make this drug state and I quote "The exact mechanism of isotretinoin is unknown". Wow, now how is that simply slipped by our FDA. Also the last dermatological office visit before I ended up in the hospital, I had told the doctor I was not feeling well, he simply said I was adjusting to a higher dosage.

Health insurance is very important in today's world of instant gratification(definitely another blog there). Chuck you are absolutely right, the government would be better off promoting gym memberships. Except they are to busy selling high fuctose corn syrup to major food/bevearge companies. Which coincidentally many doctors are now labling as the cause of so many inflammatory disease that have surfaced in the last couple of decades. Healthy lifestyles are a must, I had lead a healthy lifestyle, but unfortunately things can still happen. Though you are at a lower risk. Bottom line I agree.
It is not our governments job to provide health care. Absolutely the more we depend on them, the more power they will want(another good idea for a blog). Though it is also saying something bigger here. It is saying we are not responsible enough to manage our own problems. Sure insurance rates are expensive, but is that not our own fault. We are the ones who want to sue everybody, we are the ones who lie on insurance claims. So have we not driven the rates up ourselves and now we want to beg the government to save us. I was responsible this spring when I told my dermatologist I was not feeling well. I did my part, but the doctor did not do his part. If he was a government owned doctor, I might not be able to even have a lawsuit. So what is the moral responsibility here, educate yourself on all issues. Whether that be a perscription drug or you doctors track record. I learned this after a two month struggle for my life. A very valuable lesson indeed. Should I seek compensation for what happened to me, even though I did not research the drug fully, I dont know? I trusted a doctor, a drug company, and my government. I was let down. In the end I think that it is our responsibility to choose the proper health care provider, it is our responsibility to make the right lifestyle choices, and it is our responsibility to educate ourselves just a little a bit. Even though you are paying a doctor for his service. And I could continue on this topic, but I need sleep for now.

Jon Strande

Julian, Thank you so very much for sharing what you went through. I just can't believe that a drug company would manufacture anything that could have such adverse effects. I can't believe that the FDA would approve it. And I certainly can't believe that a doctor would prescribe it... every time I think about what you went through I'm just left shaking my head.

Again, thank you for sharing.

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