In a (slightly) shocking move that has outraged many Missouri voters and medical patients alike, Mercy Hospitals and CoxHealth made announcements this week that their facilities and Doctors will not be prescribing medical cannabis.
Minutes after the hospitals’ announcements, social media became active with local Missourians voicing their opinions about the decision. Many blamed Missouri’s overly conservative values, which routinely keep the area behind on social issues.
“Unfortunate but not surprising, same old Mercy, same old Springfield.”
-Brett J, Springfield
” Welcome to the Midwest It hates change when you bring something new you must be from Satan’s chapter. You guys want medical marijuana you might as well move out west .”
-Amber K, Springfield
” They’re stuck in the dark ages. “
-Jordan M, Springfield
Medical cannabis is a popular alternative to the multi-billion dollar opioid industry with growing nationwide support and very few to zero known negative side effects.
Last year, Missourians voted to legalize the therapeutic uses of this natural plant. Some say that there is no logical excuse for doctors to disallow patients access to their right to seek what they believe to be a safer and viable alternative.
These decisions have not been taken lightly by the Southwest Missouri community, which is forced to deal with the real world ramifications of the current opioid crisis on a very real level.
The following infographic from http://health.mo.gov shows the severity of the opioid crisis in Missouri. With non-heroin related opioids showing to be a much large factor in the deaths of Missourians than even illegal drug use. “Non-Heroin Related” opioids is a term which describes opioids prescribed by Doctors.opioid-data-fact-sheet
Many in the community were also quick to accuse the hospitals of purposefully preserving the epidemic of opioid use in the area, calling the Doctors “heroin dealers”.
Their reasoning presented for this belief is that the hospitals supposedly want to continue receiving financial incentives from the opioid industry. These incentives, known colloquially as “kickbacks” are believed by many to be a dark side of the medical industry, allegedly perpetuated by the drug companies in order to maintain their grip on the medical industry and ultimately, the lives of those affected.
” Pretty much, if they won’t prescribe cannabis in place of opiates then they are directly contributing to the opiate epidemic; this is like refusing to pour water on an already out of control fire and instead insisting on gasoline. “
-Kyle C , Springfield
” They’d rather fill you with god’s naturally produced, pill form opiates. “
-Patrick , Springfield
” But they’ll keep prescribing medical heroin “
-Kyle T., Springfield
” IF the cannabis industry gave kickbacks like big pharma does, it might be a different story.. LOL “
The decision by these area medical giants has clearly caused an upset in the community.
What do you think about this decision? How do the actions of these hospitals reflect their ethical obligations to their patients? How will this affect you as a patient?
I want to hear from you in the comments section.