Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Those medical decisions ...

Apparently, this can happen in Canada, too: small-minded bureaucrats making medical decisions, instead of your competent doctor. As you can probably predict, it's not a government denying health care - it's the hack at the insurance company.

A Quebec woman on long-term sick leave is fighting to have her benefits reinstated after her employer's insurance company cut them, she says, because of photos posted on Facebook ....

She said her insurance agent described several pictures Blanchard posted on the popular social networking site, including ones showing her having a good time at a Chippendales bar show, at her birthday party and on a sun holiday — evidence that she is no longer depressed, Manulife said.

There's no indication that any medical professional was consulted before deciding to cut off benefits. Anyone competent in mental health could have told them that depression is episodic, or that a depressed person will put on a good face at times, or try to have fun even when it takes an effort. I can't imagine a doctor would try to make a clinical diagnosis based on a handful of photographs, especially non-representative party pics. But then, a doctor doesn't have a financial incentive to deny treatment.

Oh, just to make it creepier: Blanchard claims that she posted those photos under private settings, meaning they were supposed to be visible only to people she had approved. If that's true, every Facebook user ought to be asking how an insurance company managed to get access to them.

[via ars technica]

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