Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Patient Literally Dies of Thirst

To Americans, the expression "I am going to die of thirst" is just that, an expression. No one actually expects to die of thirst when they are thirsty, but it can happen and it did. This wasn't a person lost in a desert. This happened right in modern civilization with a plentiful water supply.

When I came across the below news story, it was shocking to learn that a patient literally did die of thirst.

With the US government's intent to takeover healthcare, it is important to point out that this occurred in Britain, where they already have socialized medicine. This is extremely relevant to Americans and our future healthcare, and here is why.

In Britain, the medical staff compensation is not driven by the free markets. With socialized medicine comes rationed care, and this includes the funds available to pay those providing such services. One does not enter the medical field in Britain with the illusion of making a comfortable living. The people in charge of caring for the sick and keeping people alive are not paid very well at all. So it is no surprise that this can affect the level of care one receives.

This is evident after decades of socialized medicine with nominal pay, the medical staff CAN become complacent, inefficient, and possibly negligent, as is the case here. This is not to say that ALL medical staff in Britain are this way. Statistically, that wouldn't be a fair assumption. However, in this particular patient's case, there were 32 people involved in this patient's care and not one of them provided such bare minimum care as to provide the patient with water, especially when this was a critical part of this patient's care and survival.

In this patient's case, this isn't about one person on shift possibly forgetting to check on the patient. People are human and mistakes happen and this isn't one person's mistake. As a whole, this is a blatant disregard of professional duties and neglect of basic care. No one checked on him, and the family member's repeated requests for care were ignored.

In the investigation, it is revealed that this isn't even an isolated case. There were hundreds of deaths resulting from the quality of care or lack thereof. What was the end result of this investigation? Is anyone being prosecuted for negligence? No. They don't even lose their jobs. All the nurses have to do is "sign a public pledge" to "treat everyone with compassion and dignity". So these staff sign a paper to "be nice" and continue to be allowed to be responsible for people's lives. This is outrageous!

Right now, in an American hospital or care facility, patients usually complain that they cannot get enough rest, since the medical staff is frequently visiting them to check on them, poke and prod, take blood, etc. In an American hospital, this typically goes on around the clock, especially each time the staff changes shifts. Anyone who has ever stayed in a hospital or visited a patient can attest to this. Patients look forward to going home so they can get some rest. But at least, as a whole, the medical staff does what they need to do.

This is relevant to Americans, because rationed care will literally change our lives as it has in other nations with socialized medicine, but not in a good way. Our lives will depend on good care. We will be deprived of that and we won't have the ability to obtain it. Apparently, the left is forgetting about our constitutional right to life.

Yes, medical costs are too high in the US and this needs to be addressed. Removing the ban on buying insurance out of state and implementing tort reform for frivolous lawsuits would bring the costs down significantly, making healthcare affordable for all. Socialized medicine and rationed care is not the answer and will not control costs, and the only change will be that we all suffer for it. Personally, I'd rather pay for care than literally die of thirst. Given the public outcry against this healthcare bill, I think most Americans would agree with me.

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