Obviously, we don’t yet know all of the details of this story from the Kansas City Star, but we know this:

In court records filed with the charges, police say Reimer killed his wife because he no longer could afford the avalanche of medical bills from the treatment of her uterine cancer and neurological problems.

When police first questioned Reimer, who was in the apartment when they arrived, he told them "something bad" had happened to his wife, according to the probable-cause statement filed with the charges.

"She didn’t jump," he said, but didn’t reveal much more.

Several hours later, after more questioning, police said they determined Reimer threw his wife from the balcony because he could no longer take care of her medical needs, according to documents.

Criste Reimer had battled numerous medical problems for several years, a fight that drained her physically, according to Jackson County Probate Court records.

Her weight had dropped to 75 pounds, she was partly blind, and she had an extensive history of traumatic brain injury, knee surgeries, neurological disease, hypothyroidism and hydrocephalus. She was also on a host of medications.

When she was admitted to the hospital in April 2006 after repeated falls, her doctors said she had been falling repeatedly over a three-week period, and they noted a "failure to thrive."

Her medical bills ranged from $700 to $800 a week, and she had no health insurance, according to Probate Court records.

What have we become? What kind of society allows the medical situation of one of its citizens to become so financially catastrophic, mentally stressful and utterly hopeless that the only option a family member sees is to throw the patient off of a balcony?!

How many times does something like this happen every day with less dramatic results and we never hear about it? How many families are on the verge? How many caregivers are at the end of their rope? How many of our "leaders" really give a damn?


Originally posted to MalachiConstant on Thu Aug 16, 2007 at 07:47 AM PDT.

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