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Arkansas Hospital Creates Its own Death Panel

Posted on 17 April 2015

hospital

Click on the image to enlarge it.

 

Clarification: I noticed a lot of negative comments in regards to this situation so I wanted to summarize this so there are no misconceptions: My Doctor told me to go to the ER because my conditions have worsened and my follow-up was not going to be until after the weekend. When I told them my conditions were worsened and my Doctor told me to go to the ER, they continued to claim that it was not an emergency. This has nothing to do with insurance as I have insurance. A doctor pre-diagnosed me without even seeing me and said if I want to be treated for the very things they listed to seek immediate medical care for, I had to pay $200 dollars because of this new policy. I am aware of the stigma around Medicaid, however when my doctor tells me to go to the ER, I and everyone else should expect to be treated at the ER for immediate medical care. My condition is still critical and I am without proper treatment as of writing this at 4/17/2015.

Update 8: Filed a complaint with the Arkansas Department of Health. You are encouraged to file a complain as well with them at 501-661-2201 if you are one of the people who were turned away by Unity Health/White County Medical Center’s Emergency Room policy of a $200 deposit.

Update 7: Here’s the link to the interview and the story. I hope this gives those who have suffered the same fate as I have a voice in these matters.

The Interview:

Update 6: KARK has interviewed me! I made mention of some of the people’s comments and made awareness to what was happening. Tune in at 6 tonight to see it. If they put it on the web, I’ll embed it here.

Update 5: KARK will be interviewing me around noon on camera. I promise to create as much awareness as possible for everyone who has been turned away who can’t pay the $200 and told their emergency was not an emergency.

Update 4: Spoke with a reporter for KARK and they are going to have a meeting Monday to finalize and get the ball rolling to do a camera interview and let me share the information about my experience and the others in the comments.

Update 3: KARK has reached out again and I have a call scheduled for Sunday to go through everything.

Update 2: I am getting a tremendous amount of traffic and people messaging me privately about what White County Medical Center did to me, and to people they know. Please, if you or someone you know has experienced this, please leave a comment sharing your story.

Update 1: KARK in Arkansas has reached out to me. They are looking into the resources I provided them.

I don’t like to share much private information about myself or my health, but something so profound and so disturbing has just happened to me and is happening to others in White County (Searcy) Arkansas that I feel as though I need to bring as much awareness as possible about it. Below is a brief story on my experience with what could only be described as a private death panel.

I suffer from a large ailment of issues with my back. Recently in the last year however I developed a bulging torn disc in my lower back. When it first appeared it was painful and I received some treatment for it. I then moved to White County for personal reasons with my wife. We are both on the Affordable Care Act Private Option that is only available in Arkansas. It was a very unique approach to provide medical insurance instead of traditional medicaid. We are both on Ambetter.

On the 13th of April, I aggravated my bulging torn disc somehow by bending down to pick up a 2-litre. I was in extreme amounts of pain. I tried taking my normally prescribed medications already treating my damage in my back but it made no difference. It was a pain I had never felt before. It felt like tremendous pressure. It felt like I needed to crack my back to relieve it, but that wasn’t it at all. I went to the ER (White County Medical Center) in Searcy seeking relief.

When I arrived there was no one waiting so I got in quick. I was seen once by a doctor and he determined that it may be a slipped or herniated disc at this point. They gave me an injection of Demerol and then gave me 4 day prescription of Percocet, Valium, and Naproxen. I attempted to reach out to my doctor the next day hoping for an appointment that week. My doctor isn’t in on Wednesdays or Fridays past noon, so I was given one option of a morning appointment on Thursday or an appointment on Monday. The only person who could take me was going to be out of town on Thursday morning, so I said Monday.

Well, I realized that I was running out quick on my prescriptions given to me during the ER visit (due to me being in constant pain and taking 1 every 4 hours of the percocet and only prescribed 20) and I called on the 16th telling the nurse of my doctor that I’m getting worse (as well as being concerned that since the conditions are getting worse, I will have to continue taking 1 every 4 hours) and that I’m experiencing the things listed where it says seek immediate medical attention. The Nurse said I needed to go to the ER again with these new symptoms. So I had my father drive me as I can’t feel my legs and I’m in incredible amounts of pain beyond what the Percocet is helping with.

We arrived at the ER at around 10pm and I signed in. I told the triage nurse that these symptoms appeared and I was getting worse. She took my vitals and sent me back to the waiting room. 10 minutes later, a man called me over to a desk. Now before this man called me to the desk in my wheelchair I was in, I overheard a person with Thyroid cancer saying that she couldn’t be seen because it wasn’t an emergency and that she would need to pay a $200 deposit if she wanted to be seen. I remember seeing her so distraught over the ordeal and she was frantically calling urgent care clinics that were all closed by that time.

I went over to this man, and he told me the same thing. I told him that I was told by my doctor to come to the ER, but the man continued to say I am not considered an emergency. I asked to speak to a nurse about this, and I told her I was having issues with pain shooting down my leg and a lack of control over my bowels. She continued to say that it wasn’t an emergency that that was happening and I needed to pay the $200 deposit to be seen.

My wife and I were so enraged we left. We came back after we realized nothing else was open to see me. We asked for this policy notice and more of an explanation. We didn’t get too much information other than a letter they have prepared for this. The picture above is a photo of the symptoms I was experiencing that they told me to seek IMMEDIATE medical care for, yet was still considered not an emergency and the letter of the policy with a list of urgent care clinics that could instead deal with me.

As we were leaving, we found out that a nurse who actually works there was waiting for her husband to come by ambulance because he too was turned away. I don’t know what condition he was in, but he too was turned away unless he paid the $200 deposit to be seen.

Republicans back when the Affordable Care Act was placed into effect used to preach about “Death Panels” that would decide who lives or who dies. They meant it for the insurance companies and Medicaid. Through some pretty weird sense of irony, the hospitals are now implementing their own “Death Panels”. If you don’t have money, you are going to be turned away based on a doctor who doesn’t even see you, with information given by a Triage nurse.

This is wrong. This is incredibly incredibly wrong. I have reached out to several news outlets here in Little Rock Arkansas to tell them of this story, and I hope they get back with me and report about this. What would happen if someone was feeling just mildly ill and they go into the emergency room and the doctor thinks they just have a cold, and the person is sent home because they can’t pay $200 dollars and it ends up that person dies because it was something much more severe?

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Authors, Exclusives, The Secular Nerd

The Secular Nerd needs you!

Posted on 30 November 2014

Why I need you:

That’s right, The Secular Nerd needs you because a series of unfortunate events have led our family into a pickle. We are closing on a house for my disabled father and mother (they are on fixed income) and we have helped them with all the extra fee’s needed (over $800) to get to this point. Due to an issue with putting the closing cost on the loan or a separate loan, they were forced to come up with $2,000 for the home. The home is only $23,000 and they got $1,000 up. It was left to me, but as a freelance contractor I can only do so much to help. Unfortunately a client has delayed a massive project for way past our deadline to close. Our deadline to close is the third. If we don’t come up with $1,000, we lose the house to another buyer.

My parents are in their 60’s and have been living in a camper for 3 years looking for a decent house that they could afford and call home. We now live with them too. In the camper.

 

Bottom Line:

I’m offering services, perks, incentives, etc. I’m even auctioning off a one of a kind cuff made by The Craft Mill that looks like this (Give them a like on Facebook too!) :

R'amen Cuff (Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) Click to be taken to the auction post on Facebook!

R’amen Cuff (Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) Click to be taken to the auction post on Facebook!

 

If the link on the picture doesn’t work, find this post at The Secular Nerd Facebook Page

The starting bid for this one of a kind cuff is $35.00. All you have to do is bid higher than anyone else in the Secular Nerd’s Facebook post and it’s yours (If you are the highest bidder come December 2nd at 8pm Central Time)!

 

The place for the perks? That’s on our GoFundMe campaign.

 

I can’t express how important it is for my family (including my wife and I) to have a house. We are eternally grateful to everyone who has contributed thus far, and we will be eternally grateful to those who contribute and procure my services. You can see my freelance contractor site, Praeon Technologies, to get an idea of what I have already been doing for clients.

 

Below, is a picture of the lovely camper we all share!

 

camper

 

 

And below, is a picture of the house you can help us replace the camper with:

 

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Epic Fails of Humanity, Government Secular Fallacy, In The News, The Secular Nerd

How Should Secular Humanists feel about ISIS/ISIL?

Posted on 18 September 2014

ISIL

If you identify as a secular humanist, and try to live by the philosophy that is secular humanism, you may be feeling conflicted about ISIS/ISIL. For purposes of this article, we will just call them ISIL for now. If you are like me, and believe that life is very precious, and that religion should never dictate how other people live their lives, you may see the conflict in dealing with ISIL.

On one hand, you have a classified “terrorist” organization hell bent on establishing an Islamic state that is beheading and killing people left and right, those who don’t agree with them. On the other, they are human beings with a very radical ideology, but human beings none the less. How do we, secular humanists deal with two major things that we are directly against (killing others and forcing religion onto others)? They are beyond reasoning with since most radicals are focused on the extremes of their religion.

One thing in particular that I’ve seen, as someone who does not believe, or follows a dogmatic religion, is a very scary similarity between ISIL and our own Republican party in the United States. A similarity that can only occur when extremes from most religions inject themselves into politics. Below are the beliefs shared by ISIL and most if not all of the Republican GOP:

  • They both are strongly against Evolution being taught in school [ISIL Link] [Republican Link]
  • They both liken gays to pedophiles [ISIL Link] [Republican Link]
  • They both believe that religion should rule quite like a theocracy for the government

The only difference here between Republicans and ISIL, is that Republican extremists don’t go on religious holy crusades and kill people. They usually just stick with the 2nd amendment as protection enough to “defend your family” and justify things like “Stand your ground” and other things Republican supporters and congressmen alike have defended.

That doesn’t make Christian extremists any less dangerous or violent though. Throughout the last few decades we have seen many people kill in the name of “God” and Christianity in America. We have seen abortion clinics blown up by “pro-life” supporters (the irony is killing people, but they believe it’s justified to save an unborn zygotes life). We have seen mothers justify the death of their children, saying that “God” told them to. In the bible, as well as the Koran, we can find it laced with violence, rape, murder, torture, slavery, and other things we Secular Humanists feel are extremely unethical and immoral.

So this leads us to a fork in the road. Do we need to take out ISIL before more innocent people die by a radical extremists hands? Do we justify murder, to prevent murder? Is it considered murder instead of defending the weak or diversified population of the world? How can we Secular Humanists solve this issue when it’s beyond rational and reasonable negotiations?

We have similar conflicts in the United States. We find that talking to right-wing extremists is impossible because they won’t see the reasoning in our ideology. We don’t see what they call rational in their ideology, but we understand what makes them think like they think. They make up lies and propaganda for what we non-Republicans believe. So what do we do in a situation where rational discussion is impossible to be had?

In the United States, we can vote to rid those who refuse to see reason or compromise. In the other parts of the world however, where they don’t respond to voting, only violence, I’m afraid the only response is violence. We have an ethical obligation to humanity to protect itself against credible threats. We fight viruses all the time. We fight harmful diseases all the time. How is ISIL any different than a disease or virus that can kill you?

Follow me for a moment into my reasoning. I view religion as a virus thanks to Dr. Darrell Ray and his book, “The God Virus”. With an overwhelming amount of people carrying this virus of death, destruction, and destabilization, there’s no inoculation. We can’t treat this virus with a dose of rational thought. These people were born with an AK-47 in one hand, and a Koran in the other. Quite like the Republican extremists of today except it’s a Bible.

The Islamic extremist point of view goes one step further than Christian extremists. It actually acts on killing, rather than talking about killing (for instance, Christians wanting to put to death all gay people). Some Christian extremists do indeed act on that impulse to kill. Luckily, it’s not an epidemic (yet). The Muhammad Virus is strong with these Islamic extremists. It’s too powerful to inoculate, and it has consumed them whole.

Do I believe they are going to come to the United States if left unchecked? It’s possible. Do I believe they have the power to destroy the United States? No. Why? Because only we have the power to destroy ourselves. Look what we did in the name of freedom? We took our freedom away, to protect freedom. Patriot Act, Global 24/7 unwarranted surveillance programs, police departments receiving war equipment. We sacrificed our freedom, in the name of freedom. We wracked up a debt in the trillions by putting two wars on a credit card.

We bring our own pain onto ourselves. We meddle. We screwed up going to Iraq, and now we need to meddle some more. We have been caught in this endless cycle. I do believe we owe it to the world though, to try to clean up a horrible mess. A mess that was already there, but we decided to make it worse. This conflict has been happening since the dawn of religion and man. So because we meddle, we have threats against us. We are NOT the world police, but I do believe the world should come together to eradicate this virus. We as one planet need to fight ISIL, just like we would fight AIDS, or any other disease or virus. ISIL is no different than Ebola when it comes to trying to rationally get it to stop killing. The only difference is that ISIL will discriminate against who it kills, while Ebola doesn’t care who it kills.

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