Saturday, December 22, 2007

Family to sue insurer in girl's death

The family of a 17-year-old leukemia patient blamed Cigna Corp. on Friday for her death, saying the health insurance giant's initial refusal to pay for a liver transplant contributed to her death.

The Philadelphia-based insurer had initially refused to pay for the procedure, saying it was experimental. The company reversed the decision Thursday as about 150 nurses and community members rallied outside of its office in Glendale in suburban Los Angeles. Nataline died just hours later.

The insurer "maliciously killed" Nataline because it did not want to bear the expense of her transplant and aftercare, said family attorney Mark Geragos. He did not say when or in what court he would file the civil lawsuit.

In a Dec. 11 letter to Cigna, four doctors had appealed to the insurer to reconsider. They said patients in similar situations who undergo transplants have a six-month survival rate of about 65%.

Read the full article here

My comments:
I am against frivolous lawsuits. I do not think this is frivolous. This is about Health Insurance Companies and money. This is the USA! This should not happen here. Sure there are some quotes in the article by experts who state that the immunosuppressant drugs "tend" to increase the risk and growth of any tumors. But 4 other doctors in their letter to Cigna said patients in similar situations who undergo transplants have a six-month survival rate of about 65%.

In the end, 17 year old Nataline is dead. This is so wrong on so many levels and I hope Cigna pays.

I have health insurance for myself and my family. It seems that each and every year my premiums go up, up and up...and the benefits go down, down and down.

It's time that these Health Insurance Companies be held accountable for their greedy money grubbing ways.

I was watching the local news the other evening and they featured a doctor who has a mobile medical facility that he drives into areas where there is a lot of homeless folks and poverty. His name is Dr. Randy Christensen. He does not charge for any of his services. Watch the video about his mission here

Be well!


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