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Man Commits a Crime to Get Healthcare

Sometimes, logic dictates that the best course of action to treat a serious illness is to go to prison. Here's an amazing story of how one man committed a crime in order to get the medical care he desperately needed:

A 41-year-old man who had been incarcerated came to see me recently. While in prison he got in a fight, which led to a CT scan. He hadn't broken anything, but the scan did surreptitiously show two aneurysms. Both were in his hepatic artery (the artery that feeds his liver).

They were small, so the doctors kept an eye on the aneurysms without doing surgery. But the next time they checked, they had nearly doubled in size.

He was referred to a surgeon at a different hospital than the one I work at, and underwent an angiogram, to see the aneurysms better. The surgeons there said that he was sure to die if they did not intervene, and that they should schedule a surgery within the coming weeks.

Fortunately for him (or so he thought) he was released from prison one week later. When he returned for his pre-op visit, though, he was told that since he'd been released from prison, he no longer had insurance to cover the operation. [...]

... not knowing what else to to, it occurred to him that the easiest way to get the care he needed would be to get back in prison.

The next week, he went to a department store and, making sure a security guard saw him, pocketed some moisturizing cream. He looked up at the guard, smiled, and walked out.

After he was arrested, he wrote a note to the judge saying that he needed to get back into prison for a year, to get an operation. He told me the judge said "I'll give you 14 months, go get your surgery."

Doctor Joshua Mezrich told the story over at The Atlantic: Link


When I was at UCSF for cancer/bone marrow treatment I saw no less than 2 felons in treatment there. Guards, chains, the whole thing. My tax dollars were paying for those felons to get treatment. But the poor kid next to me was underinsured and was left with thousands of $$ in debt. This is so very, very, very sad.
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