Thursday, July 12, 2012

Choices Have Consequences

I'm supposed to be coming out of post-surgery general anesthesia recovery about now (for a deviated septum - annoying, but not a life threatening condition).  That's not the case due to the Trinity Mother Francis hospitals management recently taking the unilateral decision that general anesthesia patients will not "be allowed" to use public transport to and from the hospital - specifically to include taxi cabs.  As a result of this deliberate choice by my medical services provider, I was refused treatment and denied surgery this morning - all because I had the temerity to take a cab to and from the surgery office so as to comply with the request not to drive myself home post-surgery.

As I said in the title, choices have consequences.  One result is that I won't be having this (or quite likely any other) elective surgery procedure done at any Mother Francis facility from this point on.  Annoying that, as this most likely means I will have to identify and change over to a different source of medical treatment that my health insurance will continue to pay part of.  Probably to include having to end my relationship with my current (for the last 15+ years) GP and find another, since I doubt he will be allowed to refer me to some specialist that doesn't work for his employer also.

Since this decision (to restrict the informed choices of its adult patients) was apparently taken more than a year ago now, I find the choice to not inform me of this policy decision - particularly in light of my known-to-the-hospital-staff experience to the contrary in the recent (last 5 years) past - prior to my having paid the $500+ portion of the surgical fee to be a deliberate act of abuse.  Especially since I'm confident I will never see that money again as the hospital "stands ready to re-schedule the surgery" just as soon as I dis-order the lives of a sufficiency of my fellow citizens to satisfy the prejudices of the hospital staff who get to impose such tyranny upon the unsuspecting.  The very idea that "we won't allow a patient" to make an informed decision regarding their own health care follow up is outrageous in its own right.  That this is revealed to said patient only at the last minute (in the present example, literally as they were about to call me in to begin surgery prep) only adds to the insult.  The stupefying assumption that anyone's family, friends and neighbors ought to be, indeed necessarily must be inconvenienced and have their lives disrupted in order for a grown human to purchase a service from another is a mind-boggling presumption on anyones part.

I understand that informed consent is critical to making an informed decision.  I accept that we are (and ought to be) bound by our choices.  I simply categorically reject anyones claim to arbitrarily deny me the most basic of human rights regarding my own person absent my being forced to comply at the (literal) point of a gun.  Frankly, I don't care how many years the "facility director" has been swamping out bedpans, her decision to deny me treatment so as to assuage the gas passer's lawyers qualms doesn't cut it.

I'm 58 years old; I came to the abrupt conclusion some 40 years ago now that I was going to live until I died, and that I was going to die of something at some stage of the process no matter how much fiction became actual science along the way.  If it turns out that thing should prove to be a stuffy nose then so be it.  I also came to the conclusion that I most likely won't be too concerned over the how so much as the what come the day, nor am I likely to care over much after the fact.

So, the $500 is gone, I still have a semi-permanently clogged snot locker and, because I don't have the "cleared to return to work" piece of paper from Mommy Dearest nursey yet, I can't go back to work today either.  I wonder if the boss will approve a paid vacation day post hoc as it were?  I hate to lose another $150 to this exercise in stupidity.

Just think how much better all this will be once Obama's PPACA policies really kick into effect.

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