Allan Mayer’s Weblog

An Equal Society?

Posted on: April 6, 2009

This is the story of two men.

We’ll call them man A and man B.

Man A is 48. Man B is 30.

Man A got a nail in his foot, causing some internal damage. It was his own fault. Man B got a broken leg. It was no fault of his own.

Man A got the medical attention he needed. Man B didn’t.

Man A had access to pain relief. Man B didn’t.

Man A‘s injury didn’t lead to any complications. Man B‘s did.

Man A is typing this. Man B isn’t here to contribute, because…

Man B died…

WHY? Was it because Man B lived in a third world country without access to proper medical treatment?

 No, it was  because…

Man A manages services for people who have learning disabilities. Man B has… had… learning disabilities.

And it happened in the UK in the twenty-first century.

 Mark Cannon was admitted to hospital after his leg was broken whilst in respite care. He waited three days to see a pain team. Although his family pointed out that he needed close supervision in hospital, he was given a bed at the furthest point from the nurse’s station. After his leg operation he needed a blood transfusion. He didn’t get it, along with vital medication which he should have had to prevent him from having seizures. Mark Cannon was discharged from hospital in agony. He suffered renal failure, had a heart attack, and died.

 Remember: this was just a young man of thirty with a broken leg.

And, sadly, Mark is not the only one.

Now tell me: how far have we come?


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