Monday, July 12, 2010

The Right to Affordable Health Care

Diabetes is a disease that has left my child reliant on insulin in order survive.  In addition to insulin, there is a plethora of other medical paraphernalia required to monitor her condition every day to keep her healthy and safe from harm, all of which cost money. 

As Jenna’s Mom, I have imagined every hypothetical, rational scenario (and a few irrational ones too) that would lead to a situation in which I would be unable to obtain the life-sustaining insulin and supplies my child needs:  natural disasters, stranded on a deserted island, melting of the polar ice caps causing global flooding and all the pharmaceutical manufacturers along with it rendering them unable to churn out our precious insulin, The Rapture... I’ve envisioned them all.  But as a Canadian, financial hardship is one scenario that isn’t that much in the forefront for us because we have a government funded health care system. 
Imagine not being able to afford the insulin you or your child needs to live.  Or the syringes to administer that insulin.  Or the blood glucose test strips to determine how much insulin or food he requires.  Or the hospital bill for that 2 day stay in PICU after an unfortunate and frightening dance with DKA.  It’s the kind of scenario one would picture in relation to some third world country, which doesn’t make it any less tragic.  But what makes it so utterly inexcusable is that it is happening to people right next door in one of the richest countries in the world.  
Our system in Canada is far from perfect.  In fact, there are those who could find plenty wrong with it.  But as a rule no one need go without necessary care and medication just because they are unable to afford it.  So it’s hard for me to wrap my head around anything less.
Every human being should have access to health care no matter what their economic situation is or what geopolitical boundaries they are defined by.  And furthermore, no one should be forced into financial ruin to sustain the life of a family member stricken by disease.  It’s hard enough to deal with managing chronic illness day after day.  To then pile on the financial burden that goes along with it for some is adding insult to injury in a very literal sense.  
I have recently become friends with another D-Mom (thanks to the D-OC.)  She fights the “D” every day for her beautiful son, just as we all do for our children.  She has started a petition.  It is a push to set up a  “Diabetes Life Net” to make insulin and other diabetes supplies accessible for people with limited financial resources.   
Please take the time to read her petition and sign it if you agree.  


And really, how can you not?

1 comment:

Alexis-Nicole said...

Thank for posting my petition Sherry! And the way your wrote about it...perfection! xoxo