Friday, August 17, 2007
Medical Tragedy of the Day
A man threw his seriously ill wife four stories to her death because he could no longer afford to pay for her medical care, prosecutors said in charging him with second-degree murder. —Associated Press
I've read several accounts of this, and there's a great deal still unknown. Commenters on blogs are asking if this was a case of assisted suicide. We'll probably never know.
Stanley Reimer, the husband, was an accountant. His assessment of their financial situation in the face of his wife's many needs should be accurate.
Now comes a story suggesting that Reimer had, or had developed, some extreme medical needs of his own. One sister-in-law, Terri Metrano, is quoted to say, "He seemed pretty unstable. He said he was afraid of me.” Another sister-in-law, Vicki Jones, said, “I was scared to death. I did not want him around her. He just got scary. It was like we just didn’t know him anymore.” Paranoid ideation? Whose? Did the change the sisters noticed in Stanley Reimer come about as a response to the financial crisis?
For whatever happened we may be sure of this: The cost of the police, the prosecutors, the public defender, the medical examiner, the court-appointed psychiatrist, the jail guards, the private company that provides the bologna sandwiches to inmates, the prorated construction and maintenance of the jail facility itself, and the estimated $25 thousand or so per year for each year that Stanley Reimer spends in prison if he's convicted of murder would have been more than adequate to pay for Christe Reimer's medical care.
All of this will be paid for by the government through some mix of local, state and federal funds. It is very odd that Americans hate "socialized medicine" but seem to have no problem with socialized imprisonment.
Coming on the heels of Michael Moore's "Sicko," this case has the potential to make the American healthcare system and its political enablers take to their beds. It's about time they received some treatment.
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