Is a life worth saving?
Last week, I read an article in The London Free Press about a local mother who is awaiting a biopsy to determine whether or not she has thyroid cancer. Despite finding out about the growth in May 2010, the woman is still waiting to see a specialist, who will then need to order the biopsy. The story and it’s accompanying list of wait times for cancer treatment at local health care facilities infuriated me.
My personal history may have something to do with the fact I was seeing red after reading the article. When my own mother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer after a (supposed) successful treatment less than a year prior, we attended multiple appointments during which any symptoms she was experiencing and results of any tests or x-rays were discussed. Treatment was sometimes mentioned as an afterthought at the end of the appointment, always in relation to “deciding” on a plan, at which time a start-date for the treatment could be selected. It was three months before a “life-prolonging” treatment plan was created. By this time, the cancer was far too advanced and my mom was only able to withstand one round of treatment before the cancer took her life.
So what’s with all this waiting? Shouldn’t people have the option to receive treatments and undergo procedures and surgeries – particularly ones that could be life-saving – without such a drastic wait? Or is it that the medical community doesn’t mind allowing conditions to advance? That secures their jobs, right? And in the case of life-threatening illnesses, long-term care facilities receive residents and eventually, a funeral home and cemetery or crematorium receive business. Thinning out the herd, anyone?
Just venting to say that all this makes me sick and I think someone in the medical community and the government needs to step up and care enough to do something about it.
A couple of years ago, I had to take my husband to a well-respected eye clinic at a local hospital. It was impossible not to hear what was being said in the other exam rooms, so we overheard someone diagnosed with such a dire condition that they required immediate surgery to save their eyesight. Calls were made, the surgeon alerted and the patient was taken to be prepped for the surgery within two hours.
If a person’s vision is worth saving, isn’t a life worth saving?