As a nurse one sees and hears many stories. Some are tragic, others heartwarming, and it can be a roller coaster ride. With HIPPA legislation privacy is key and personally I am grateful for that. Since I have been a nurse for 44 years I was always HIPPA compliant even before the law. It provides a good cover for busy bodies asking things out of curiosity allowing health care folks a way out gracefully.
That said today I wish to mention something in HIPPA compliant fashion with anonymity. Recently I admitted a homeless, middle aged man. He had a crack habit of $200 per day. In this admission he hopes to get straight, find housing, and once again be a productive member of society.
In speaking further with the gentlemen I inquired as to how he can afford his addiction. “I pan handle,” he flatly responded. I never realized what a lucrative career this was. While not a fan of pan handlers and one who usually gives donations of food since I carry snacks in my car I began to wonder,
“Are we supporting a drug habit when we donate to pan handlers?”
Hard questions, no easy answers.