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    Doc, you have to treat me!
    Olivia_WebMD_Staff posted:
    With health care reform back in the news again, there are lots of discussions about whether doctors and hospitals should be required to treat you, regardless of whether you have insurance or proof that you can pay.

    What is your stance?

    Should your doctor HAVE to treat you?
    spanishbrit responded:
    I know things are different in europe then in America. In spain all eu citizens should recieve free medical treatment , in theory. I moved from England to Spain 4 years ago and I cannot get medical treatment in Spain. As I live on a small income I cannot go private or return to England. I have type 2 and controll it by diet and a lot of exercise. In 6 years things have not got worse. The blood test strips cost aboue 45 euros per pack so I don?t test very often
    Headline responded:
    Yes, I think life-saving and life-sustaining health care is a basic right. It's immoral to decide who to treat based on money; that's saying your value as a person is based on what's in your bank account.

    I understand doctors and hospitals and pharmacies and so forth are for-profit businesses and have as much right to make money as the rest of us. But those whose job it is to help and treat people have more to consider than just money. From the modern translation of the Hippocratic Oath: "I will remember that I remain a member of society with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm." I think that obligation extends to the obligation to provide life-saving and life-sustaining treatment - not only emergency care, but also treatments for chronic diseases that would or could cause premature death if left untreated (and yes I know that's a long list; my opinion is not changed by the length of the list).

    I don't think doctors should be able to opt out of treating Medicaid patients. Limiting the number of Medicaid patients, sure; doctors have to limit how many new patients of ANY kind they can take if they're to provide good treatment. But I don't think it should be possible to refuse ALL Medicaid patients simply because they have Medicaid. I'm a social worker, and many of my agency's clients receive Medicaid - and because they receive Medicaid, they often must call many doctors before they find one who will agree to care for them. That's wrong. My clients are people, and they deserve to receive compassionate, quality health care just like people who have the good fortune to be insured and/or financially stable.
    Kacie123 replied to Headline's response:
    Yes! They are here to help not turn people down because they can't afford it! Its like a mom walking in with a sick baby and they won't treat the baby and the baby ends up so Ill its passes away. Is that right!? I think they should have to treat everyone. Just my opinion
    3point14 responded:
    I don't go to the grocery store and expect to get food without paying for it, I don't expect my landlord to let me live for free...why should medical care be any different? It sucks, but medical care isn't free. It isn't free for the hospital to get the supplies they need, it isn't free to go to med school and get a ph.D, and it costs a lot emotionally for the nurses and other staff at a hospital to not see their families because they're helping the ill. Why should they get shafted? Why should their pay decrease?

    I agree that payment plans should be more of an option, and that if people want to try to work things out with the hospital the hospital should be more than willing to do that. But unfortunately, the way the system is currently, it makes sense to have to pay for a service.
    sroreno responded:
    It isn't just a money issue doctors(rheumatologist) in Reno NV are now refusing to treat patients with RA if they also have fibromyalgia.
    someones_mother responded:
    The Hippocratic oath should be enough to prompt a doctor to treat the uninsured, it states do no harm. There is emotional harm done to every person how is treated like a second class citizen for not having medical insurance. Those with government insurance are not treated any better. There is harm done with every illness that goes untreated as the disease will progress and that too causes harm.
    That said in this country doctors are not required to treat the uninsured or the under insured.
    When I was a young woman I doubled over in a major department store. Security realizing I was in pain took me to the nearest emergency room. At the time I had good medical insurance but the world renowned hospital wanted to transfer me elsewhere because they did not have a contract with my insurance provider. Those contracts are the basis on which they get paid. The contracts are the reason you pay $75.00 for a Tylenol in the hospital.
    Several years ago I had a friend visiting Chicago from San Francisco. He had no job, no insurance and what appeared to be an ear infection. I called 45 doctors offices before I found a doctor who would see him. Never was paying an issue he had money but 44 ear nose & throat doctors declined to treat his ear infection.
    None of these things should be happening here but they do and they are causing the deaths of innocent people and not just innocent people who are uninsured. When you can not get a doctor to see you because you have no insurance you end up in the emergency room over things that do not require emergency care because they are only source of medical care that is required to treat everyone to some degree. That means hospital beds that should be available in a true emergency get filled by ear aches and the common cold out of desperation. These acts of desperation occupy medical personnel and space making it unavailable for those with genuine need.
    Rod_Moser_PA_PhD replied to someones_mother's response:
    If we are to be considered a compassionate nation, we need to treat those who are ill, but not necessarily in the emergency room. The ER should be reserved for serious cases that are either life or limb threatening. Non-emergent cases, like sore throats or earaches, can be triaged and seen at an urgent care or extended care facility and not take up the space reserved for the more serious cases.

    Many people use the hospital ER as their primary care offices. Not only is this very wrong, ER care is the most expensive.
    nursingbug replied to Rod_Moser_PA_PhD's response:
    In the er it is already a law that you must be treated, despite the ablitity to pay. So that is a moot point.
    Should doctors be REQUIRED to treat you, is another question. As a nurse I have worked with many wonderful doctors, who would, if it were in their power, never turn anyone away. However, just because you are a doctor does not mean you are independantly wealthy; doctors have costs too- their own families and personal needs, loans for medical school, and skyrocketing malpractice insurance to name a few. Unfortuately, a medical practice is a business, they need money in order to operate, good faith does not pay nurses and other support staff families, etc. If you own a grocery store, does anyone claim you should feed anyone who comes in the store, even if they cannot pay?
    That being said, I do feel for those who do not have insurance; I talk to them on the phone everyday, and it is through no fault of their own. If you do research there may be more resources, low cost clinics available that may be helpful.
    This country does not do a good job of ensuring basic care for it's people, and the doctors get the bad name, the ones who do try to help.
    An_241873 replied to nursingbug's response:
    Very well said!
    stevek11 responded:
    If Hospitals and doctors are going to be required to treat people, then people should be required to have insurance or pay in advance. We who do pay should not be required to pay for those who chose not to pay, which happens under our current laws. This is just another example where our government passes laws that cost business and individuals money. There shouldn't be a requirement to treat.
    Anon_172447 responded:
    There are many people who work everyday and can't afford medical insurance. In reality, everyone is not going to get that "top notch" job. There will always be people who have to accept a job with low pay, just to survive, and unemployed people who need medical care; hopefully, to stay well enough to obtain a job, and to be healthy enough to work at it. Does that make them less of a human being? No. When it's time for the government to take out taxes, they don't say, "this person only makes minimum wage, therefore he/she will not be taxed." I know for a fact,because I was working at a large company making minimum wage, and every pay check had a full day of wages deducted for taxes. We know that there are medical professionals, hospitals, and centers that receive government funding. Therefore, there are many uninsured individuals who should be treated by medical professionals.
    msuozzi responded:
    I do NOT believe that doctors should have to treat a person. My father DIED in an emergency room because an "uninsured" woman brought in her three children who had "colds" to be treated and was just before us. My father had suffered a fall, a "hairline" fracture to his hip - and - also hit his head, which was unknown at the time he was admitted to the ER. Because the doctors spent so much time with these 3 children (who managed to run all over the ER), my father fell into a coma and once discovered it was too late!! He was an extremely active 89 years old and unfortunately, I had to let him go. I will never forgive that woman...... Rather than the government mandating insurance for "everyone," they should be spending money on establishing non-urgent care facilities of some sort throughout the country. Leave the "true" emergencies to the ER and hospitals. Those in government can take a lesson from what they are attempting to force on the taxpayers and 1. STOP VOTING THEMSELVES RAISES EVERY YEAR; and 2. START CUTTING THEIR OWN SALARIES, PERKS, FREE GYM MEMBERSHIPS; 3. START PAYING TO FLY AS WE DO; 4. CUT THE SIZES OF THEIR ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUPPORT STAFF (OR AT LEAST THEIR SALARIES, PERKS, etc.). I am "very" politically oriented, and we were doing fine with a Democratic Congress - until some voters decided they wanted a "change for change sake" - voted in some Republicans - and now NOTHING gets done - everything is either an impasse or settled to the detriment of the voters and taxpayers.
    brcansur replied to msuozzi's response:
    I agree the er is a place for emergencies and not cold and runny noses. I also agree that everyone that has insurance no matter what kind should be treated the same. I think our goverment needs to get things worked out and come up with something that covers everyone with insurance that they can afford and that doctors will take. To often I call a doctors office to be told they are not taking new people or they will not see me because of a health issue( i had breast cancer). This is not right everyone should be treated the same if they already have coverage even if they have had cancer before. I am cancer free now for 4 years and get treated like I was just dx today. I get treated like I don't have coverage or like I am going to die tomorrow and they will not get their money by a lot of doctors that I am seeing for the first time. But all the doctors I have seen for years are very understanding and great doctors.
    Anon_128600 replied to brcansur's response:
    in response to the woman who's father died in the ER and the 3 kids with colds, ER's treat according to worst off, not who gets there first, so i highly doubt they put the kids in front of your father if he had severe problems to begin with. it is called triage. as for should all doctors be required to treat all a perfect world it would be nice if they took all insurances, but i think the government needs to stay out of some things and this is one of them. we don't live in a dictatorship regime but a free country. there are choices. if doctors choose to pay for expensive educations and some people chose to do little with their lives, then the choices are fewer. you get what you pay for. God looks out for the truly poor.

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