Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Diabetics Need Not Apply

Since diabetes and attitudes towards illness are often on my mind, I couldn't resist posting about this article: a Massachusetts man, Gregory Hennick, who is diabetic and uses an insulin pump, was offered a job by Northampton Police Department, which later said "it was forced to rescind the offer after learning that he wears the pump," according to the Boston Globe.

Apparently, anyone using a pump is barred from full-time police work in Massachusetts, yet the same rule does not apply to firefighters or to police officers who switch to the pump after they've been hired.

Let me get this straight...diabetics who manage their disease using the pump are not eligible to be hired as police officers. Those who inject insulin are, depending on the severity of their disease. Yet those who get the job and then decide the pump is a better option are still somehow better qualified for the job than people who used the pump previous to their employment? Here I was thinking that whatever method a patient found most effective in managing his or her disease was a good thing.

Is anyone else struggling to wrap their heads around the misguided logic at play in this policy? It's not enough to treat diabetes as a disability, but to be so arbitrary and conflicting in who is allowed to patrol our streets, protect us from danger, or rescue us from burning buildings is maddening.

Hennick is filing complaint of discrimination on the basis of a perceived disability...I'll try and keep you posted.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Holy crap thats insane.
You would think if people were going to be closeminded and discriminatory, it would almost be the opposite! that people who carry around external syringes and sharps would be more likely to be discriminated against...maybe because theres a risk a criminal or someone else could mis-use your sharp when its outside of your body...
insane. keep us informed.

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