A friend spoke of her husband's battle with kidney disease and her fighting red tape to get help. The process sounded mechanical. They told her if his papers were in order he would be eligible for medical assistance; if not, then he would need to met their criteria. Sounded to me like starting a car in cold weather. You need an good battery or a tow.
How much of healthcare has become that way? And perhaps getting other types of assistance? We need the right paperwork to get the wheels moving. Those of us needing help must wait for a computer output that will be forthcoming only if every dot and tittle's correct on the input. Meanwhile, my friend scrambles to get the right input as her husband suffers.
She is intelligent, tenacious, and resourceful, and so I'm confident she'll get it right. Let's hope that others less endowed with these qualities can obtain the expert help they need with their paperwork.
As chaplains, we do advocate for those in need where we can. In a larger sense, we can also 1) assure those we cannot help that humans are still in charge, 2) loosen the criteria that deny help where we can, and thereby 3) keep the machines in their place. Those three objectives would be fine holiday gifts that will last all year long.
Dominic Fuccillo is a retired Clinical Chaplain who lives in Littleton, Colorado.