Saturday, 25 April 2009

Question?

I have a question for you, a bit of an ethical dilemma. I patient came in the other day with a fairly nasty limb injury. Nothing unusual in that you think, but he was dressed in work overalls and was dirty from working. OK, that is what you would expect, but when he was asked what his occupation was he stated he was unemployed. Now, my question is this, can I report him? I really want to, he is sponging off the state and getting money for working and it pisses me off that I am paying taxes which will get even larger to subsidise this thief. And he is a thief because he is stealing from you and me and every other taxpayer. However, according to the rules I have to treat him the same as everyone else, not judge him and certainly not report him.

I was watching the programme "The Hospital" the other night and it was about obesity and the treatment of obesity. It showed a couple who were to put it politely, huge. She was on the list for a gastric band and her partner who was even larger, was not. What got to me was that both of them were on Disability Living Allowance as they were too fat to work. Now this couple were able to walk the streets and go to McDonald's and even have a sex life as they had a child. So how are they disabled? Yet again I am being forced to pay for people who don't contribute and expect everything handed to them.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Could he have sustained an industrial injury and not wish to draw your attention to it because it could mean the loss of his job, livlihood, etc?

The Shrink said...

It is for shifts such as these that creation, in all its form and splendor, gives us gin.

OFMN said...

The obesity episode of The Hospital made me angry, as well. Even as a health promoter. I'm not sure if I'd report this guy, though. There could be other details or circumstances we don't know about.

Nurse Practitioners Save Lives said...

I deal with this every day. People who I know can hold some kind of job are looking to me to "disable them" so that they can sit on their ass while I work mine off. I don't do disabling when I think that I'm enabling them to take advantage of the system. They probably don't like it, oh well.. They can find a new provider. Sounds cold, I know.

Anne said...

NPSL - its not cold. expecting ppl to contribute to a system if they can should be expected.....even in the states we see plenty of ppl taking disability just because they want to stay at home and raise their kids......im sure there are alot of ppl that would like to do that but cant.....and grumpy as for reporting him, its a fine line. maybe he is unemployed and was working at home or maybe OFMN is right and there are other circumstances u werent privy too....not a good situation all around

the a&e charge nurse said...

You cannot breach confidentiality unless there is a public interest argument, grumpy.

Maybe he was in overalls because it was a DIY job, or a one off for a mate (rather than a permanent job on the side) i.e. low grade fiddling?

Or let's say one of your toff patients owned up to being involved in a rather elaborate tax avoidance scheme, would you report him/her as well?

Nurses are privy to almost as much personal info as a priest, grumpy - keeping schtum is part of the deal I'm afraid ;o)

GrumpyRN said...

I agree that there is more going on than I wrote about, TV is notorious for editing to show what they want rather than what is true. The girl I wrote about did appear in an unsympathetic light on the programme which was possibly due to editing.
The patient with the limb injury was unemployed and was working full time while claiming unemployment benefit. He did have an industrial accident as it happened at work - now he has to explain how he became injured while supposedly sitting at home.

I was really just having a rant about the system in UK which allows otherwise healthy people to be classed as disabled because they are overweight while being able to independently carry out the activities of daily living. The other patient is commiting a crime but as A&E charge nurse pointed out I have to keep schtum. What annoys me is that I happily pay taxes to ensure that people are taken care of when required but I do get upset about people who never contribute and expect everything handed to them. The benefits system is supposed to be a safety net but to too many people it has become a hammock.

ecrunner said...

This is one of the hardest parts about nursing. I just read on another blog that a drunk man was peeing on a train track, electrocuted himself and lived. After that, he sued the city and won. But all a nurse can do is treat the patient as a patient and not hold judgments, having to balance their personal life separate from work. It's just awful.