Monday, October 27, 2014

Ebola and Immigrant Fears

by Alicia Fernandez, MD

Here is a thought experiment:  Imagine that Thomas Duncan, the unfortunate Texas Ebola patient, had been undocumented in addition to uninsured when he presented to a private hospital in Dallas.

Be sure to consider the impact on his decision making in seeking health care.  Now, imagine the media response.  Imagine the impact on policy makers.
Hold those thoughts.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Insights from mainstream media

By Robert Brody, MD

People Magazine is an unusual source for a blog such as this - we are more likely to comment on articles in more academic journals.  But I believe the following from about a young woman, a UCSF patient, who had to leave California for another state to get the care she wanted, and especially the video in which she tells the story herself, is a powerful reminder about work that still needs to be done to make patient-centered end of life care in the form of death with dignity legal and accessible in this state.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Leaving No One Behind: The International Day of Older Persons

By Anna Chodos, MD, MPH

I am wondering if Mr. Rose knows that today is the UN’s 24th celebration of the International Day of Older Persons (IDOP). The theme is “Leaving No One Behind: Promoting a Society for All.”

He does not talk to many people in a given day.  He lives on his own in a single-room occupancy (a bed and a small bathroom) in one of the many housing units for low-income adults in San Francisco.  At 75, he is one of its oldest residents.  When I visited him there for a home medical visit, he showed me his small fridge full of microwave pizzas and orange soda, which is what he can buy from the drug store near him.  He has difficulty walking, so he gets what he can from the nearest place that sells food.  He is fiercely independent so has refused help from a city in-home support worker that could help him with shopping.  And he said he did not have any friends or family who could help out.  But, he said, he did not feel lonely.