Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Your Health And Corporate America

I ask for your apologies in advance of reading this post, but right now, I am so pissed off right now!  I do not recall having the anger and disgust in me, even as I faced a similar situation myself.  But after reading a Facebook post last night, the acid churned in my stomach resulting in a tumultuous and sleepless night.

corporate america


Okay… so here is what is causing this outburst.  If you have followed me on “Paul’s Heart” you know  I am 100% in the corner of patients and getting the medical care and support that is needed, NO MATTER WHAT!!!  I had been planning on writing a post about just how much corporate America cares, rather, does not care about the health of anyone.  So, where as most of my posts, which involve personal emotion, normally sit 24-48 hours just to make sure that I get my point across the responsible way I intend to do so.  However, so that you can actually feel my rage right now, this is an unedited, no holds barred post intended to get the attention of anyone in corporate America or our government to give a shit about the mistreatment of patients, especially those facing deadly diseases.

A writer posted on one of the Facebook pages that I follow for Lymphoma, that he was being turned down by his employer, for short term disability coverage.  The gentleman has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, CANCER!!!  Now in case the morons that oversee the Human Resources department do not realize it, CANCER is a deadly disease!!!  And as a patient deals with cancer, both physically and emotionally, it may leave an employee unable to work.  I am not defending someone who simply wants to stay out of work for months for a simple headache, or a sore big toe.  This individual has CANCER!!!

Now you may be thinking, “wait a minute, if he has cancer, it is almost a guarantee that he will miss work because of his cancer.  That would be common sense.”  Except, that is not the case.  The individual was turned down for short term disability, to allow him to remain out of work while dealing with his cancer for the following reason… this patient decided that he was going to treat his cancer holistically, instead of by conventional means.  And his employer did not approve of this choice.  They want him to go through traditional treatments.

Corporate America decided that it did not approve of his decision of his treatment for CANCER, and therefore was going to deny his request for short term disability.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!  The employee will still have his cancer, which may or may not respond to his choice of treatment.  If it works, he will still experience all the physical and emotional side effects of a patient who undergoes traditional treatments.  And if his treatment does not work… well…he will need more than short term considerations.

But just who in the Hell is Corporate America to tell a patient what medical decision needs to be made?  It is bad enough that pen-pushers in insurance companies make patients jump through all kinds of hoops when time is most important, ignoring the pleas from doctors to speed up the treatment process to allow the best chance for success.

The decision has been made.  Corporate America has stuck a knife through “the heart” of a cancer patient, denying him the opportunity for rest, and recovery that is often needed during this process.

So what will happen?  What can be done for this patient?  Of course, the majority of responses are all pretty much the same, “get a lawyer and fight”.  Which of course is all well and good, if you are a normal and healthy person and have the stamina, and the time to take on such a fight.  But cancer patients, as well as others facing serious illnesses do not have this luxury.  And Corporate America knows this.  So with their heavy hand, you either work, or quit/get fired.  But Corporate America did not get where it has by being soft and humane.  They are willing to go to court and fight the patient, but their money is hoping that the patient does not.  So, even if only one patient out of perhaps five fights this situation, that means four did not, and they would be willing to accept that loss.  That is, if this patient chooses to fight.

Corporate America has no right to tell a patient, as a condition of employment what is appropriate as far as treatment!!!

As I mentioned earlier, I have seen this type of behavior before, though through the Worker’s Comp process.  I was injured on the job back in 2003, in such a way that could have only happened at work.  But because there was lost time from work involved, a supervisor got fancy with a pen to cover their behind, and I was denied.  I was adamant that this was not to go against my personal insurance, and got a lawyer to help me prove my case was indeed work related.  It took nine months, which I got back all of my pay in full.  But it took an independent medical evaluation ordered by my employer, who expected the doctor to side with them, but stated clearly, the injury to my wrist had no chance of ever being done at home.  I did not use a jackhammer at home.  I did not play hockey recreationally.  I did nothing at home that could have created the heavily torqued tear in my wrist.  But then again, this was a situation where Corporate America had been willing to roll the dice… deny three for Worker’s Comp, if one appeals and wins, at least they did not concede to the other two who chose not to fight for their right.


It is unfortunate that it has to be this way, but I do hope the patient referred to above, does fight for his absence to be covered under short term disability.  A Hodgkin’s survivor myself, I recall all too well what fighting the disease took out of me.  SHAME ON CORPORATE AMERICA!!!

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