You Make the Call

Not everything is clear cut in life. We tend to see things through the lens of our own ideology. I get that. I am guilty, too. Let’s have a nice debate about this issue:

In Elwood, Indiana, a school superintendent has been charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor after she used her son’s name to get medical treatment for a sick student who didn’t have health insurance. Casey Smitherman says she picked up the 15-year-old student earlier this month after the teen showed symptoms of strep throat. After a medical clinic refused to see the teen because he had no insurance, Smitherman took him to a second clinic and signed him in under her son’s name. She then filled a prescription for antibiotics at a local pharmacy under her insurance. In a statement, Smitherman said, “As a parent, I know how serious this illness can be if left untreated, and I took him to an emergency clinic. I knew he did not have insurance, and I wanted to do all I could to help him get well.”


There are some clarifications needed. Other articles have show that the superintendent has been helping the kid out:

Smitherman told police that she said she had previously bought the boy clothes and helped him to clean his home, WISH-TV reports. A claim for the medical visit was valued at $233.

So, a few issues. First, $233 for a strep throat? What a joke. Second, and this is a guess, I bet he wasn’t even strep positive and the clinic was “covering” itself. See, there is my negativity right there. Third, I really appreciate how this lady has been helping the kid but she is a superintendent, not a teacher. Clean his home? Someone is spending a little too much time in that house. This story is weird.

Here is the perspective from one of my readers:

What should the ramifications be for a person acting in good conscience to prevent a serious consequence such as ARF from an untreated infection such as strep throat? We know that this intervention was crucially important for this child’s long term health. To some people, how is this different from stopping a kid from running into traffic? How can a caring educator watch their student develop ARF and other cardiac complications and know the whole time that they could have prevented it? Or for some doctors, how is this different from giving an uninsured patient free medication samples ? Don’t you suspect that the vehemence with which this case was pursued is because of the strength of the insurance companies wielding such heavy influence on the lawmakers?Why should we as a society be serving as their enforcers? Sure, she committed fraud. But why wasn’t there a readily available system that she could turn to when the kid was sick? I would show it as another failing of society  where our politics infiltrate our ability to protect the most vulnerable members (written like a true pediatrician!).

I won’t debate the frequency of acute renal failure or cardiac involvement in strep. I believe it is extremely rare. If the child was that poor than he should have Medicaid and most urgent cares even take that. Also, where the hell are the parents of this kid? How are they escaping the microscope? I do hate the insurance companies and they have made the cost of care ridiculous. This doctor brings them up but I am on not sure I they are the total villain here.

So, what do you think? You make the call? Was she right? Should she just hav used cash? Is she too enmeshed with this kid? And why are her pictures so different? I would love your thoughts.


Get our awesome newsletter by signing up here. We don’t give your email out and we don’t spam you.

127370cookie-checkYou Make the Call