Life with a Myositis Disease

The laughter and tears that come with living with Polymyositis

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Location: fort worth, texas, United States

Thursday, June 09, 2005

First, kill all the lawyers....

All right, I don't really mean that.....really. I got into an interesting discussion today as I was sitting in the infusion room at my rheumy's office for my 7-hour treatment (leaves lots of time for conversation with others who drift in and out for their enviable 2-hour treatments) regarding tort reform.

Have you ever gotten one of those letters that come with a check for $.27 that informs you that this is your payout for being a party to a class-action lawsuit against _______? You were probably surprised because you never opened the junk-mail-looking letter that was sent informing you of what to do if you chose NOT to be a part of the lawsuit. Hey - thanks for the $, who is going to pay for the $20/month increase in my fees to ______ that came after the company paid off the suit, most of which went straight to the lawyers?

I read an interesting article recently from a man whose basic premise was - who are YOU to tell me I can't take Vioxx? His point was that HIS choice was near-certain death at a relatively young age without the medication vs. possible illness/death with the medication somewhere in the future. Was anyone else disgusted by how quickly the ads for attorneys hit the airwaves when the possible side-effects were discovered?

Why do so many people feel life owes them a smooth deal? I once had an interesting discussion (or maybe I read it somewhere.....) about the different approach to life Americans take vs. Europeans. The point of this party was that while Americans had a very hopeful approach (of COURSE I can be happy and successful) Europeans had a more fatalistic view (I'm stuck with what life has handed me.) One of the perspectives this individual was offering was that the hopeful approach wasn't necessarily all that great because of the disappointment that can come when happiness doesn't get handed to you. I also like this gem, which I attribute to my father: "Who told you life was gonna be fair?"

It is astonishing to me what lawsuits have done to our society. From expensive medications, insurance, etc, etc.... Do we need to have consequences for irresponsible acts? Absolutely. Do they need to be in the form of millions of $$ because someone was too stupid to think that putting a cup of hot coffee between their legs in a moving vehicle was a bad idea? Where do you draw the line? At what point do we expect some accountability from the individual to make good decisions, or to live with the occasional curve ball life throws at you. Sometimes this curve ball is due to an oversight of someone else. Haven't we proven that making that individual/organization pay $$ is not a completely successful way to prevent it from happening in the future? That maybe this approach does more harm than good to the people it is purporting to protect or avenge?

I could sue my company for forcing me to move stores....their approach was both unfair and most likely illegal. What, in the long run, would this really gain me? I still have a job. A job I love. My pride has been hurt - is this what the legal system is really there for? There are a few out there that seem to watch for that chance for the big payoff, and we're the ones who really do the paying. Now, it would definitely be a different story if my illness actually cost me my job or a loss in pay for no other reason than it's existence. But if my illness actually prevented me from doing my job, than who said I should be allowed to keep it to the detriment to others?

I see this sense of entitlement at work a lot in the younger employees....don't know if this is because they haven't been out in the 'real world' long enough, or if it is more signs of this dangerous direction in our culture. It is amazing to me how often I have been threatened with lawsuits when I had to let someone go for lateness. THEY can't seem to come to work on time, despite many warnings, yet I'M the bad guy for taking away their job? Did I miss the memo that we owe everyone a job?

What are your thoughts?


Anonymous Beth said...

I'm loving your blog. You have a great voice, tell fabulous stories, and have wonderful ideas for coping with PM.

It never occurred to me to use the grabby thingy to help me get dressed. I think I just became a tad more independent. Thanks!

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With regard to your excellent advices on assistive devices I recommend you go to THE MYOSITIS ASSOCIATION Bulletin Board. Posted under the GENERAL
category is the subject "SPILL PROOF URINAL--Product Review".

You are welcome to include it in your Blog.

Jack in Phila.-IBM

9:36 AM  
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11:26 PM  

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