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Comment Archives: stories: News + Opinion: Health Care

Re: “Despite New Law, Vermont Inmates Denied Addiction Treatment

Why bother to pass laws if they aren't going to be enforced correctly especially by the state??? I hope they lucky in the lawsuit against Centurian health and get what they deserve!! :-)

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by Gi Grape on 09/14/2018 at 12:16 PM

Re: “Despite New Law, Vermont Inmates Denied Addiction Treatment

This story is incomplete. The title and graphic would give the appearance that the DOC is not complying with the law, but the narrative of the article does not support the title or graphic. I get it, the headlines sells the story, but when the article itself in no way supports the title, then shame on you! Within the body of the article it states that the DOC may provide the drug if medically necessary. So, the missing and important questions that were either not asked, or included in this article are:

Of all of those inmates who wanted (requested) the drug, how many were found to be medically necessary?

What factors determine medical necessity?

How many were simply drug seeking without a substance use disorder?

How many requested the drug so that they might be able to divert and sell the drug making incredible profits?

What are the medical standards and how does the DOC's implementation of this program compare to the standards?

How does Vermont DOC compare to other correctional departments in the delivery of this drug?

What do medical professionals with expertise in this area have to say about the DOC's implementation?

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Thedore Bundy on 09/13/2018 at 8:58 AM

Re: “Despite New Law, Vermont Inmates Denied Addiction Treatment

While there is a law that permits inmates to receive drug treatment while incarcerated, it is a program that is ripe with abuse.

There are inmates who have signed up for the program because they can get their drugs for free from the state instead of paying for it in population from other inmates. Multiple inmates have flat out admitted to corrections officers that they did not want to get clean, but just wanted to get high for free.

There have been a high amount of inmates caught attempting to divert their new medications in order to sell it to other inmates in population. At least 3 or 4 inmates per week are caught trying to bring their medications back down into population.

If the state really wanted to make this program work, they would go to a medication that is delivered like insulin - via syringe. This would prevent diversion of medications.

As for the girlfriend who claims that she has been paying a corrections officer to deliver drugs into prison, she is more than likely earning money for her boyfriend. Almost all drugs smuggled into prisons are used for profit, not for self-medicating. She is a dealer and the CO is a mule.

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by COinVermont on 09/13/2018 at 3:43 AM

Re: “Despite New Law, Vermont Inmates Denied Addiction Treatment

Until we, as a state, take responsibility for the human beings we are putting behind bars, we will reap what we sow. These individuals are entitled to medical care under the Eighth Amendment and yet are treated less well than farmed animals. The State of Vermont owes a hell of a lot more to the people we lock up. It's bad enough that we ship inmates all over the country because we refuse to own them. That we treat them so badly when they are still here, in the fact of clear legislative intent, is disgusting.

When medical providers say they are eligible for medication, but place an arbitrary date for them to receive it, that's not practicing medicine. That is practicing inhumanity.

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Barbara Alsop on 09/12/2018 at 6:19 PM

Re: “Despite New Law, Vermont Inmates Denied Addiction Treatment

Centurian health care is a fucking joke! Most of the prison systems have them because they are so cheap for the states to contract. They are also on the fortune 500 list. The doctors that work for them could care less about the people and you do have to wait for a long time to get to see the doctor. There is only one doctor for all of the inmates at northwestern facility and at the other facilities as well. The DOC should get rid of them and get a new health care system. Obviously Lisa Maynard could care less about the people, she's just the typical bureaucratic person saving money and not people

7 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Gi Grape on 09/12/2018 at 5:42 PM

Re: “Retired ER Physician Paul Seward Reflects on His Career

I want to be as sharp as the Doctor when I'm 75 or 65 or right now ! Nice interview .

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rich ard on 08/22/2018 at 12:48 PM

Re: “Retired ER Physician Paul Seward Reflects on His Career

Nice piece, Ken.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ethan Miller on 08/22/2018 at 11:23 AM

Re: “Future Fix: Drug Detox Beds Needed in the North Country

Jail has detox beds.

Posted by Peter Morgan on 07/31/2018 at 6:53 AM

Re: “Agencies Alarmed by Bhutanese Refugee Suicides

Bhutan, land of the hypocritical Gross National Happiness project.

0 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by BDE on 07/20/2018 at 4:06 AM

Re: “Million-Dollar Question: How Much Should Nonprofit Hospital CEOs Earn?

Well, I must say those people wouldnt have a nonprofit organization without the thousands of employees doing the grunt work. The CEO wouldnt have received a 22% bonus for best infection control without the grunts, who came up with the new change in infection prevention? Not the CEO. He just reaped the benefits. The staff at UVM MC are dedicated to this organization. Wheres their recognition? You think CEOs put in a lot of hours? Our LNAs are doing 4-8 hours over their schedule shift to help there nurses and the nurses are being asked constantly to work overtime because of staffing shortages. Nurses and LNAs are burning out and moving on because of it. Wheres the compensation for their sacrifices? Wheres their bonuses? People worry about nurses going on strike? They should look at the executives who are unwilling to make UVM MC the best place to work!

6 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Deb Spear on 06/14/2018 at 11:22 AM

Re: “Burlington to Ease Access to Opioid Addiction Medication

What about us people who suffer daily from chronic pain? I have peripheral neuropathy in my feet and all the doctors gave me is gabapentin, and antidepressant, which does nothing for the chronic pain. The DEA is trying to get a bill passed that will take away pain meds from people that need them on a daily basis. There have been suicides due to the pain but doctors risk losing their license for writing prescriptions for pain medication. I think it should be a doctors and patients choice rather than the DEA who are not doctors. Obviously they could care less about people and how they are treated for the pain.

4 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Gi Grape on 06/14/2018 at 11:18 AM

Re: “With Frank Obituaries, Families Aim to Lay Stigmas to Rest

I met Patti in high school. We lost touch but, connected again through her many Facebook posts. I feel in my heart that Patti, and everyone close to her did all they could but, it was not to be. Writing her obituary must've been an unbelievable undertaking. My heart goes out to Bill, their sons, and all their extended family and friends. This peek in to Patti's life, that many of us were unaware of, brought her closer to us. So many times, the "picture perfect" truth is portrayed rather than the actual true life. Patti's life touched so many people in so many different ways and she will not be forgotten.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jean Koch on 05/24/2018 at 4:28 PM

Re: “With Frank Obituaries, Families Aim to Lay Stigmas to Rest

I have so much to say about this article but I will just say this: this is not the whole story and the elephant in the room is not being discussed. I miss Patty. This is an american tragedy and a vermont tragedy. I grieve her death.

5 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by GREENMTCAT on 05/24/2018 at 6:06 AM

Re: “With Frank Obituaries, Families Aim to Lay Stigmas to Rest

I remember reading Patti Rooney's obit as I was looking for a friend's obit and how astounded I was to see that suicide was so plainly mentioned. I have nothing but respect for the Hickok family for this confession and am sorry they have to suffer this loss.

I have had friends and others whom I've known commit suicide and it always feels like a betrayal by the deceased towards the living and a failure by the living to not see "something" and to have been able to prevent the intentional death. Control is an illusion and love isn't enough in some cases.

I hope that by Bill Hickok's honesty a more frank discussion can be had in other families that walk the tightrope of living with a loved one or friend who struggles with mental illness.

In an insane culture whose reach has extended well beyond its grasp, it is a wonder suicide isn't even more prevalent.

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by NorthOldEnder on 05/23/2018 at 11:48 AM

Re: “Committed: A Son's Mental Illness, a Father's Fight

The system is the way it is to stop abuses. Many people have dysfunctional and abusive families. That has to be be accounted for. Many times family members do not have someone's best interests in mind. The system was even more abusive in the not so distant past. From the book by Lynn Payer, " Disease-Mongers: How Doctors, Drug Companies, and Insurers Are Making You Feel Sick":

In 1992, U.S. Representative Patricia Schroeder, chairwoman of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, held hearings investigating the practices of psychiatric hospitals in the United States. Rep. Schroeder summarized her committee's findings as follows:

Our investigation has found that thousands of adolescents, children, and adults have been hospitalized for psychiatric treatment they didn't need; that hospitals hire bounty hunters to kidnap patients with mental health insurance; that patients are kept against their will until their insurance benefits run out; that psychiatrists are being pressured by the hospitals to increase profit; that hospitals "infiltrate" schools by paying kickbacks to school counselors who deliver students; that bonuses are paid to hospital employees, including psychiatrists, for keeping the hospital beds filled; and that military dependents are being targeted for their generous mental health benefits. I could go on, but you get the picture.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Anti-psych on 05/02/2018 at 11:05 AM

Re: “Committed: A Son's Mental Illness, a Father's Fight

I'm so glad Seven Days is sharing this story and I feel really bad this family in the story is struggling to find the right treatment. I sure hope you find your way.

I lost my only brother to suicide because he could not find the proper help and my family could not help him because of Vermont laws. Mental health treatment in Vermont is a joke as it leads to a never ending road to nowhere. My brother tried his best to seek help and was always turned away at the worst possible time.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sven Eklof on 05/01/2018 at 4:01 PM

Re: “Committed: A Son's Mental Illness, a Father's Fight

The mental health industry has gone backwards since HIPAA. A healthy mental state of a person requires connections to significant others. A person's family and social network offers care in ways our institutionalized medical care simply cannot. Treating a person's mental health with drugs and counseling separate of family and friends is foolish. It not only harms the patient, but those who lovingly care for the patient.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by otter on 05/01/2018 at 3:24 PM

Re: “Committed: A Son's Mental Illness, a Father's Fight

$500k by age 22...this mental health in-patient treatment is expensive - wow! That would be more than $1m per every 10 years, easy.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by James Berry on 04/30/2018 at 8:36 AM

Re: “Committed: A Son's Mental Illness, a Father's Fight

My sister had a similar experience of having psychiatric drugs cause her psychosis. This article says Simon worried that Ativan and Risperdal were causing worse mental health problems- oh, yes, they often do. This isn't a delusion on the part of the patient. This often happens, as you can see in those books. My sister had that experience, too. She had some auditory hallucinations before taking drugs, but she knew they were hallucinations. That's not psychosis. A drug she was given at the outset- probably a benzodiazapine, though she wasn't told what it was, caused her to become truly psychotic for the first time. Risperdal taken ongoingly for a few years made her more prone to psychosis. This is a very common progression. Also, with my sister, the antipsychotic drug caused progressive dementia to the point that self care was very difficult for her and she needed a lot of help. This, also, is a common, almost universal effect of antipsychotic drug use. And she became dependent on the Risperdal. She recognized that, and kept taking it. Eventually, also a common occurrence across all antipsychotic drugs, she died of a pulmonary embolism. At age 40. The outcome of forced drugging isn't a good outcome. It's sleeping a lot, progressive dementia, increasing dependence, most likely increasing psychosis, and early death caused by the medical problems caused by the drug. In the above article, I am wondering why body-centered trauma therapy hasn't been attempted, since it seems that's a main issue. Pre-verbal trauma and physical trauma can be addressed that way. That's not a panacea, but I don't understand why it's not even on the table.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Heidi Henkel on 04/27/2018 at 7:07 AM

Re: “Committed: A Son's Mental Illness, a Father's Fight

Some good books to read, to get an understanding of the effects of psychiatric drugs from outside of the drug companies' marketing schemes and self-serving self-funded "research," are "Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide for Informed Consent" and "Drug Induced Dementia" by Grace Jackson, MD, and "Anatomy of an Epidemic" by Robert Whitaker. "Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal" and "Your Drug May Be Your Problem" by Peter Breggin, MD, are also very helpful. Even psychiatrists who spend their careers helping people who want to, to get off of psychiatric drugs as much as possible, as safely as possible, aren't always successful. Some people end up trapped on the drugs, because they have taken them for such a long time that their brain has been changed by them and they are very, very dependent, and because not enough doctors have worked for long enough, on how to help people get off of psych drugs, for enough to have been learned yet, about how to do it. It's a struggle and it's not always successful. But ethics require us to treat that desire with respect and to do everything we can, to honor that. Medical self determination is a really important ethical issue. I think this form of it is parallel in many ways, to the right to have the type of end of life care that one desires. It's not always achievable, but it should be respected and should be attempted as much as possible, even if it's not the most convenient thing for other people, and even if it's not what other people think they would want if they were in the same circumstance.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Heidi Henkel on 04/26/2018 at 9:03 PM

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