Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Death & Legislation

Yesterday was a day, and at the end of the day, I was thankful that I left my job WITH a job.

I have a couple of things I need to talk about today. The first is this: Recently a man was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving. The man refused a breathalyzer so he was arrested and put on a 48 hour hold in a detention center. The man was brain dead and unable to be revived the next day in his cell. The death is unusual, but there is more, which I think you will find interesting. This man had diabetes. When this man was detained police officials asked him if he would like to test his blood sugar, yet he declined. They did not pursue the matter further. Later the next day the man was found dead and the reason for death is untreated diabetes.

The uneducated person may say, “He declined to check his blood sugar, this is what he gets!” It is what he got, I suppose. But ask yourself this. If for whatever reason one day you are detained by officials and at the time of your detention, what you truly need is a hospitalization, would you rather “Get what is your due” or would you rather that the officials value your life enough to provide you with appropriate medical care? Is the sentence more important than an individual’s life?

The very fact that the police officials asked this man if he would like to check his blood sugar indicates that they knew of his diabetes. Individuals with diabetes know that ingestion of alcohol can cause severe and prolonged low blood sugars, which may make an individual unable to care for their needs. This in and of itself is life-threatening. Add to that, assuming the gentleman that died is a type 1 diabetic, he will not live very long without insulin and a full 24 hours without insulin could indeed be a death sentence. Another twist, sickening as it is, is this man’s mother had been in contact with detention facility officials asking them to treat this man’s diabetes. Is drunk driving really punishable by death? Apparently only for diabetics. I found this story in the printed Saint Cloud Times today. I was not able to find it online. If you find this story online, will you please send me the link?

The end result of this is that this detention facility, the main jail in Ramsey County (Saint Paul), will now have 24-hour medical care. Is this appropriate recompense? I really don’t know. What do you think? I think more appropriately there needs to be a protocol that is followed when any person with diabetes is admitted to the facility.

The last bit of news is that the Saint Cloud School District (#742) is having a town legislative forum on Tuesday December 4th at 6:30pm at Apollo High School. You better believe I am going to be there, and it just so happens that my Tuesday night is free next week. I’m afraid that if I don’t go, there won’t be any parents yelling about the importance of our special education supports. Cuts in special education are not appropriate by any means. Call me the guardian angel of Spec. Ed. Funds (this is me being grandiose).


meanderings said...

Yay - good news on the job.

meanderings said...

Maddy said...

Well I'm certainly very relieved to hear that you still have your job! Yah!

As for the diabetes, I thought you could get stickers to put one your driver's license. [or am I in the wrong country again?]

rhonda said...

Should have had him checked out by medical professionals...Instances of diabetes (officially known as diabetes mellitus) are on the rise:( Click Here