My friend Sandy Wiltgen died of uterine cancer after the San Diego Kaiser Permanente Emergency Room ignored the possibility that she might have cancer, and and instead simply did a Hemoglobin test each time she showed up in a state of desperation because of her severe bleeding. Each time she came in, Kaiser's little blood test discovered she was severely anemic (Hemoglobin was 6!), and so they gave her a transfusion, put on a band-aid, and sent her home. This went on for a year-and-a-half before Kaiser finally did a biopsy.
At around the same time (the mid-90s), I read that a young nursing mother died of breast cancer because the same ER failed to take her seriously, sending her home again and again, without any biopsy.
I've finally found the name of the nursing mother: Angela Farnum. Her story is on the website of Robert and Jacqueline Finney, HMO Hardball.
Angela Rametta Farnum
July 13, 1955 - April 6, 1995
Angela died after a long and brave battle against breast cancer. She worked for Civil Service for several years and then had a day care business. She had a husband and three children.
From the website HMO Hardball:
Robert and Jacquelyn Finney wrote this patient self-protection manual after attending the funeral of a 39 year old mother of three young children. She didn’t have to die of breast cancer. She was sentenced to death by her HMO and its doctors. She was denied necessary mammograms and treatment. When the HMO and its doctors said NO to Angela Farnum, she died. Three young children and her husband were left alone without the love of a nurturing mother and wife. Although, her story was extensively covered in the media, including the Wall Street Journal and San Diego Union-Tribune, publicity couldn’t save her.
Angela, like other patients, did not have the weapons, strategies and tactics to fight corporation-controlled medical care...
...Documentation is the key to winning the game!
How to Play HMO HARDBALL will never be out of date. President Nixon, lobbied by Kaiser Permanente, passed the HMO Act in 1973 that made HMO HARDBALL legal. Our opposition to HMO HARDBALL health care denial began when the law was enacted. As HMOs invented ever more insidious rules, dirty tricks, and lame excuses, we learned how to implement successful tactics and strategies to play HMO HARDBALL. We are battle scarred veterans with 40 years’ experience. We are the patients’ arsenal for timeless weapons to win HMO bureaucratic battles. HMO covers all “managed care,” including “ObamaCare.”
The following links take you to the Table of Contents and Chapter One of the book.