Survival of the richest

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Money can’t buy happiness, they say. Money won’t make friends, they say. But money is key for survival in a world that caters to those holding the biggest wad of cash.

The medical field has advanced tremendously and the majority of diseases now have cures, but there still remains a barrier preventing many from receiving the treatment they need. People with low to middle income seem to be the lowest on the
medical totem pole, while there is no hesitation to treat the more affluent patients.

Particularly in the area of sexually transmitted diseases, doctors swarm to celebrities who’ve embraced their disease. Charlie Sheen and Magic Johnson both receive optimal treatment; every pill imaginable could be served to them on a silver platter at the snap of their fingers.

For the common person, there seems to be no  sense of imperativeness regarding healthcare. For instance, when I tore my ACL, my mom spent days calling several offices to try and get an appointment for an MRI. No one took her or her needs seriously. Finally, during yet another attempted phone call, she broke down crying out of frustration, and only then was someone willing to help her get a fast appointment.

If I were a celebrity or someone with lots of money, I can’t imagine that I’d be treated the same in that situation. It’s amazing how money magnifies the urgency for doctors to take action.

In another light, preventative measures are an easier route for the opulent. Angelina Jolie, a successful actress, took action against her cancer-prone heritage and had breast removal as well as ovary removal procedures. The ovarian surgery is rather costly, three thousand dollars not including anesthesia. Some insurance companies cover this, but here is the loophole: the gene test required is also three thousand, and the added expenses exceed most patients’ deductible. Precautionary procedures simply aren’t financially realistic for the common person.

It’s frustrating how someone’s value as a human can be determined by their wealth. There’s an unspoken nepotism in the medical world that places the high class patients as the priority. Money has become the primary motive, while benevolence is no longer considered self-fulfilling enough.

Written by Chloe Heinz

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