Obamacare: Health Neglect
Photo Denver Post R.J. Sangosti
With the U.S. Supreme Court expect to render a verdict soon on Obamacare, a case in Denver has raised the question of whether individuals should be required to make sure their health problems are no threat to society.
The case in the Denver suburb of Brighton involved an auto accident that claimed five lives.
The prosecution said the accident resulted from 35-year-old Monica Chavez suffering a seizure that caused her to crash into the victims’ vehicle and another car.
They said Chavez had been warned by doctors to be examined by a specialist for the potential threat of a seizure, and should not have been driving until she had one.
The jury disagreed, deciding her failure to seek the necessary medical care was not criminal negligence.
Chavez lost control of an SUV she was driving last year. It hit two other vehicles.
Five people in the second vehicle died: Randy Stollsteimer, 34; his wife, Crystaldawn, 31; and their three sons, Sebastian, 12, Darrian, 9, and Cyrus, 7.
Crystaldawn Stollsteimer's father, Rich Headley, said justice was not served. "How can someone who knows they have a medical problem choose not to get any treatment?”
Prosecutors alleged that during a 2006 hospital visit Chavez was told to see a neurologist to clear her for driving. Apparently the discharge notes were incomplete, and she was examined and cleared by her family care physician.
Chavez allegedly was told by her family physician to seek a fresh exam if she suffered another seizure, but failed to do so after a 2010 incident that preceded the fatal crash.