My Son's Encounter With Government-Regulated Health Care and the Drug War. What Saved Him Was His Death.

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My adult son, Caleb North, suffered from an undiagnosed and fatal affliction. No physician knew what it was, so we did not know it was fatal until the day the police discovered him dead in his apartment. He was still on his feet.

How was this possible? Because he had fallen face-down in the kitchen sink. He had walked over to the sink. A seizure killed him, as far as we know. He had no warning.

I have described his symptoms in his obituary. They began with tingling in his heels. Over the next four years, the tinglings turned into spasms. The limited zone of afflicion kept going higher as the months went on until the spasms entered his skull. His eyes would flutter — not his eyelids: his eyes. Finally, the condition killed him.

Because of the drug laws in this country, he was repeatedly told by physicians that he was faking his symptoms, that he was just after drugs. They would not treat him. One vicious female stood in front of a room full of patients and announced: “You’re just after drugs.” My wife told me that later. I am not one for suing, but in retrospect, we should have taken that harpy before the medical ethics (an oxymoron, I know) commission.

One physician gave him a drug that had a little effect in stopping the spasms. When my wife called for a refill, the phone lady went to the physician. She came back: “Your son is not a patient any longer.”

The existing system is callous and morally corrupt. This is what state coercion has produced. It is going to get much worse.

The drug laws pressure users to lie to physicians, who have a monopoly over writing prescriptions. So, physicians are afraid of lawsuits for supplying illegal drugs. They train themselves to be callous. They sent my son to his death without a twinge of concern.

Only one physician tried to help him. He does not take government money or third-party insurance payments. It’s a pure fee-for-service arrangement. He was my wife’s physician. He is as far outside the medical establishment as he can be and not lose his license from the state.

My son was at the library and suffered a collapse. Someone called the emergency ambulance. They were loading him onto the gurney when he recovered, he later told us. They told him they were taking him to the hospital. He consented. That was a big mistake. The bill would be huge.

At the hospital, they ran him through tests. He naively consented. They gave him a CAT scan. They said he was fine.

To get his clothes back, some non-medical emplyee told him he had to sign a release form. There is no such requirement to get your clothes. When he signed, he accepted the bill. After that, it was all hearsay as to why he had to sign.

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December 11, 2009

Gary North [send him mail] is the author of Mises on Money. Visit http://www.garynorth.com. He is also the author of a free 20-volume series, An Economic Commentary on the Bible.

Copyright © 2009 Gary North

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