Like most people, I have occasionally had frustrations with my health insurers. As a result of one of these, I called the customer service numerous on the back of my card. While on hold (don't get me started!), a recording informed me that I would be connected to the next available "patient advocate." Seriously? Whoever I got was a fulltime, paid employee of the insurer who was in the business of denying payment as often as possible. Every denied claim adds luster to the gold on some executive's parachute. Exactly how were these folks supposed to be my advocate? The technical term for this is doublespeak. It’s an ironic lie designed to obscure the truth.
The latest fad among professional educators is 'zero tolerance.'
A patient of mine with a chronic pain condition was found in school to be taking Tylenol. She was suspended. I wrote a letter to the principal and superintendent of the district, hinting that they were potentially liable for interfering with her required medical treatment.
I have just written a letter to a high school math teacher. I told him that upon my orders, one of his students is drinking a lot of water. I didn't tell him, because if was none of his business, that I instructed the kid to do that because he kept fainting during exercise. Because of my instructions, and the cooperative patient who followed them, bathroom breaks were an unavoidable consequence. The math teacher didn't buy this when the student explained it, and had decided that he would not allow any student to get up during class to use the toilet. I understood the potential issue, but maybe the solution to the teacher's concern, however delusional or real it might be, is to make the class more fun and interesting. Even so, my patient was an excellent student and simply had to pee a lot. In these kind of examples, zero tolerance is silly.
I have written a lot of letters to schools lately. For all the kids who got in trouble by bringing to school hardcore drugs like Midol or asthma medicine or allergy pills, how many get caught with ecstasy? I wonder if zero tolerance policies for 'drugs' really makes marijuana less available to a high-school student who wants to get some.