The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Death by profit

with 5 comments

Long after midnight, some years ago, I found my son in the fetal position on the floor outside our bedroom door, in intense pain.  We rushed him to the hospital.  Pancreatitis, it was.  He received good treatment.  And in some days, he mostly recovered.

The Hurting
Image by Marquette La via Flickr

That night came to mind just now as I read these paragraphs from Sojourners:

Two weeks ago, Sam* died suddenly. He was only 21 years old, strong and healthy, preparing for a life ministering to youth. Cause of death: acute pancreatitis and previously undiagnosed diabetes. Reason for death: no access to health care to treat the incredible pain in his stomach – until it was too late. The bottom line: While angry protesters disrupt town hall meetings and national organizations spread fear-based lies, lives are lost.

The current health-care system leaves you and me just as vulnerable to lack of care as Sam was. Health-care reform is just as much an issue of justice, of preserving and celebrating life, as it is an issue of caring for the vulnerable. […]

[T]he current system “renders the best health care to the wealthiest, depletes the savings of solidly middle-class Americans, and leaves 46 million with no health-care coverage at all.” […]

[A]t Sam’s funeral there were no angry shouts or accusations. There was only shock and grief among the 400 friends and family members who attended.

Had I been born in a different situation, that death would have happened at my house; that shock and grief at my church. I would still know it today.

How long will we tolerate the fact that profits are more important than lives in America?  How did we become so hard-hearted as to turn our backs on the victims of such perversion?  What kind of monsters have we become?


* Name changed to protect the privacy of his family.

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5 Responses

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  1. Hi Hanna,
    I understand you were joking, but I think you bring up a good point. Our health care system is not based on prevention. Diabetes, addictions, stress related intestinal aliments, heart disease, sexually transmitted diseases, allergies, gout, back pain, obesity, new born morbidity, mental health……(endless list) all have a % of preventability. What if we really engaged in, spent real money on, ‘Caring-for-Our Health’ rather than our current plan of disease management? Who could argue against it? We would certainly receive more value for our dollar, especially those of us who live at poverty level.
    It seems that this new plan would provide for more prevention, and I am all for it.


    August 20, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    • Good thought! That would be a huge change of direction, wouldn’t it!


      August 20, 2009 at 8:14 pm

  2. […] Read a original:  Death by profit […]

  3. Hopefully this poor man wasn’t eating cheese too! Just kidding, that’s a very sad story!

    Hannah Horton

    August 18, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    • Hope not! That’s a kind of prevention that doesn’t take a gov’t plan to start!


      August 20, 2009 at 8:15 pm

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