Saturday, September 3, 2011

24-Year-Old Cincinnati Man Dies of Toothache After Brilliantly Filling His Pain Medication Prescription Instead of Antibiotics

Folks should probably be clear about something first: A tooth extraction is not an expensive dental procedure. Indeed, as the ABC News report indicates, "a routine tooth extraction" costs about $80.00. And while it's a horribly needless waste of life, it's no one's fault but the man's himself, 24-year-old Kyle Willis, the father of a young girl. Willis decided to ride out the pain. When he was overcome by swelling he checked into the emergency room and the doctors gave him prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medication. Willis, apparently because he was "uninsured," bought the pain killers and blew off the antibiotics. Big mistake. Rudimentary health knowledge says buy the antibiotics and take some (cheap) generic ibuprofen for the pain and inflammation. To make matters worse, Willis had family members in the area. His aunt [...] is married to a successful local musician. Perhaps he could have borrowed a little money from loved ones. That's called individual responsibility. You always take care of your own, and when you need a hand you fall back on loved ones. When all else fails, there's charity. Of course, under our socialist welfare state, the historical culture of personal responsibility and self-sufficiency has been destroyed by the patrimonial socialist handout regime. Big government assumes that people are too stupid and weak to save for a rainy day, or to plan ahead for emergencies. Tucking away a few Jacksons wouldn't have killed this man. His ignorance and lack of discipline did. So dumb is this case that even über-socialist Matthew Yglesias has to begin his essay with a disclaimer, conceding that supreme stupidity is not a rationale for increasing the size and scope of government:
Now, clearly, this man made some sub-optimal choices here he’s not purely a victim of lack of health insurance. At the same time you have right before you a no-longer-living, no-longer-breathing example of the “push the patient to the edge of financial desperation” theory of health care cost controls. It turns out that the quality of a frightened, pain-wracked young man asked to make technical medical decisions under severe financial constraints is not very high. The social cost of 24 year-old fathers dying of eminently treatable tooth infections, by contrast, is gigantic.
Oh, give me a freakin' break! "Technical medical decisions"? Doctors gave Willis all he needed to get better. It's not a "technical medical decision" to choose pain killers over antibiotics --- it's gambling with your life and the future of your child. Oh, and the man was black --- so now I'm going to be attacked as RAAAAACIST for pointing out that stupidity knows no color.

Freakin' progressive "compassion" is killing society's least well prepared for success. And that's what's really sad about this case.

More imbecilic progressive "compassion" at The Reaction: "Reconciling Conservative "Logic" Is Like Pulling Teeth."

UPDATE: Lonely Conservative links: "Walmart Sells $4 Prescriptions." Also, at Scared Monkeys, "Cincinnati Man Dies of Tooth Infection … Liberal MSM Blames No Insurance."

Althouse links. Thanks!

And Dustbury!

23 comments:

That Weird Uncle said...

Many pharmacies, including Wal-Mart fill antibiotic prescriptions for free or almost nothing, so it couldn't be financial circumstances keeping him from getting the medicine.

That Weird Uncle said...

Many pharmacies, including Wal-Mart fill antibiotic prescriptions for free or almost nothing, so it couldn't be financial circumstances keeping him from getting the medicine.

Katielee4211 said...

While I don't know what anti-biotic he was prescribed, I'd guess it was a garden variety azithromycin or amoxicillin type. Neither are all that expensive. I'd venture a guess the pain med, maybe Oxy/Apap cost more. Had he purchased the antibiotic, he probably would have started noticing a difference in about 24 hrs. The choice he made was sad.

Skye said...

this is the perfect example of the failure of Obamacare.

Obamacare predicates much of its 'savings' on preventative practice AND patient compliance. Most HCW know from experience how deeply flawed is this approach to savings. Ask yourself this, when prescribed an antibiotic, how many of you failed to take all the antibiotics once you started feeling better? Obamacare is basing cost savings on 100% patient compliance to treatment...

Clearly, the death of this young man shows that compliance to medical advice is not a sound basis for creating 'savings' in healthcare.

Philippe Öhlund said...

Hmm, there are things more important than democracy and freedom.

When it comes to health care and education the decision making should always lay on the collective rather than the individual.

The individual right to chose your doctor or your school is wrong, because that is something which the community should have the exclusive right to assign.

I also think the interest of the military always should go before that of civil society.

Donald Douglas said...

There's lots of explanations, but the truly sad thing is how his death is being exploited by the left. Blah. Blah. More socialism. No one will ever die then, yippiee!!!

RightKlik said...

“Willis, who was unemployed and did not have medical insurance, purchased the $3 pain medication but not the $27 antibiotic because he couldn’t afford it, Collins said.”

$27!? What a joke. He could have found $27.

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/AB/20110901/NEWS01/109020346/Bootsy-Collins-nephew-dies-after-tooth-infection

John Althouse Cohen said...

Why is getting money from family or charity described as "individual responsibility" and "self-sufficiency"? Why are these things only eroded when people are supported by government, but not by family or charity? In all 3 situations, you're being supported by someone else.

Opus #6 said...

Pain meds with no other treatment is hospice care.

Stupid for a young man to choose hospice care for himself while he lay dying.

Donald Douglas said...

John: Folks had family support networks before the rise of big government. We all need help now and then, but government breeds dependency. People give to charity voluntarily, and your family can kick your ass to get you back in line for screwing up. Government coerces folks with taxation. No one forces you to give to charity.

Leland said...

Why is getting money from family or charity described as "individual responsibility" and "self-sufficiency"?

JAC, you need to read the story. The dead man isn't the one complaining. The Aunt is the one complaining that taxpayers should have paid for her nephews prescriptions. If the Aunt had shown individual responsibility, she'd had given the nephew $27. And failing that (as she did), she'd blame herself (because she felt her own responsibility) rather than blaming every other American in the United States.

That is why it is called individual responsibility.

The Architect said...

By the way, the man's uncle, Bootsy Collins, is far more than "a successful local musician," he's a national figure (Parliament, Funkadelics, etc.)

Synova said...

People don't realize that you can die from a tooth infection because since we got antibiotics no one really dies from infections any more.

A lot of people don't know what this guy didn't know. Which doesn't make it not-his-fault but does make it tragic.

And yes, if the aunt is complaining about health insurance when she could have easily sprung for $27 she's pathetic. Looking to the government for these things erodes the sense of responsibility we have toward our families. We give our loved ones over to a faceless bureaucracy and then cry, "Not my job!"

But neither insurance nor a generous aunt would have solved the problem that this poor fellow, just like probably a majority of Americans, had no notion at all that a tooth ache could kill him.

Thomas W said...

This also shows a problem with the (artificial) distinction between medicine and dentistry. If it were anyplace other than a tooth, the emergency room might have dealt with it. Being a tooth, the doctor won't touch it so he's got to find a dentist.

Captain Curt said...

Thomas --

Your post makes no sense. The same dynamic would have applied in a non-dental case. I recently went to the ER after a bicycling accident. They bandaged my wounds, put my hand in a splint, and sent me away with prescriptions for antibiotics and painkillers. Same deal.

Phelps said...

There's a decent chance he didn't take any pills. He probably bought the painkillers and then flipped them for a profit to a drug dealer.

So capitalism killed him!!!11!!

Adjoran said...

I thought Yglesias and the leftists were all about evolution and Darwin.

They should be hailing his decision to cleanse the gene pool of those too dumb to deal with an abscess even after consulting a doctor.

Tom Bach said...

This also shows a problem with the (artificial) distinction between medicine and dentistry. If it were anyplace other than a tooth, the emergency room might have dealt with it. Being a tooth, the doctor won't touch it so he's got to find a dentist.

How do you propose the ER doctor "deal" with a badly infected tooth? If this guy were to have walked into my practice, he would have gotten the exact same thing, an antibiotic and pain pill until the swelling was down enough I or an oral surgeon could have pulled the tooth.

A_Nonny_Mouse said...

Philippe said "...there are things more important than democracy and freedom.
When it comes to health care and education the decision making should always lay on the collective rather than the individual.
The individual right to chose your doctor or your school is wrong, because that is something which the community should have the exclusive right to assign.
I also think the interest of the military always should go before that of civil society."
= = = = = = =

What planet does Philippe hail from? I've seen the "choices made by the collective" here on Earth; in general, they suck (with a Great-And-Mighty Suckage indeed).

I prefer to make my OWN flippin' choices, thank-you-very-much.

PS- regarding the wisdom of the collective, any chance he hails from Basel, Switzerland? You may have read about the educrats there who want to make sure 5-year-olds demonstrate they know how to touch their private parts because "sex is something natural" and the glorious State wants to do hands-on training (literally) so that kindergartners "develop and experience their sexuality" right there in the classroom. That's got to be a highlight of Good Thinking By The Collective. (If I were a parent in Basel, there would be several teachers going through the rest of their lives with the imprint of a 2-by-4 up-side their collective heads.)

A_Nonny_Mouse said...

Philippe said "...there are things more important than democracy and freedom.
When it comes to health care and education the decision making should always lay on the collective rather than the individual.
The individual right to chose your doctor or your school is wrong, because that is something which the community should have the exclusive right to assign.
I also think the interest of the military always should go before that of civil society."
= = = = = = =

What planet does Philippe hail from? I've seen the "choices made by the collective" here on Earth; in general, they suck (with a Great-And-Mighty Suckage indeed).

I prefer to make my OWN flippin' choices, thank-you-very-much.

PS- regarding the wisdom of the collective, any chance he hails from Basel, Switzerland? You may have read about the educrats there who want to make sure 5-year-olds demonstrate they know how to touch their private parts because "sex is something natural" and the glorious State wants to do hands-on training (literally) so that kindergartners "develop and experience their sexuality" right there in the classroom. That's got to be a highlight of Good Thinking By The Collective. (If I were a parent in Basel, there would be several teachers going through the rest of their lives with the imprint of a 2-by-4 up-side their collective heads.)

Don M said...

Before we turn health care over to the collective, we should try something less important and personal: Shoes. Lets make manufacture and distribution of shoes, to include styling and fitting, a government monopoly. That way we can end useless proliferation of different shoe sizes, styles, colors and materials. Foreign shoes will be banned. Imported shoes or shoes returned from foreign countries will be confiscated. All shoe decisions will be made by a National Shoe Board, which will set targets for sizes, and styles. All government shoes will be issued for free.

After that program is successful we can consider doing something to health care.

Don M said...

In Basel it would be a 3cm z 10 cm

RightKlik said...

@John Althouse Cohen

It's more responsible to ask for help from friends than it is to lay down and wait for help from strangers.