02 March 2007

Maryland Boy Dies from... Being Poor

A twelve-year-old boy died of a toothache Sunday.

A routine, $80 tooth extraction might have saved him.

If his mother had been insured.

If his family had not lost its Medicaid.

If Medicaid dentists weren't so hard to find.

If his mother hadn't been focused on getting a dentist for his brother, who had six rotted teeth.

By the time Deamonte's own aching tooth got any attention, the bacteria from the abscess had spread to his brain, doctors said. After two operations and more than six weeks of hospital care, the Prince George's County boy died.

I know my readers could find any number of people upon which to place blame for this. But the fact is that we killed this child, all of us, for not having the national will to create a universal health care system that could cover even the simplest things.

Shame. Shame on all of us.

4 comments:

Annie said...

can I post now?

(I hadn't been able to in the past!)

Yes, we are all to blame.

David said...

Annie,

I just have comment moderation turned on - so I have to approve comments before they're seen :)

Eileen said...

I agree. Social medicine is very much in need in the US.

VERY MUCH.

UGH.

I'll go pray for us all now, and put this child and his family on the top!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see that someone out there feels the way annie, david and eileen do. I just read some posts on another site which were totally disgusting in the way they blamed the mother for this situation saying "I bet if they were going to disconnect her cable she would have found the 85 dollars" and the like. It was shocking that despite the fact an innocent CHILD had DIED, these people could not be compassionate enough to believe the government should help. I bet if the situation had happend to one of their children they would be the first to blame everyone but themselves. We teach our kids in school that America was built on lofty principles like unity, liberty and justice, yet we can't see our way to helping a 12 year old child fix his teath. I'll pray for our country too as long as people like that live here. Why not deport hatemongers instead of mexican immagrants? My tax dollars have to go somewhere and I'd rather they not go towards rebate checks for bigots with computers.