Friday, June 01, 2007
Speaker, 31, said he, his doctors and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all knew he had TB before he flew to Europe for his wedding and honeymoon last month. But he said he was told that he wasn't contagious or a danger to anyone. Officials said they would rather he didn't fly but didn't forbid it, he said.
His father, also a lawyer, taped that meeting, he said.
"My father said, 'OK, now are you saying, prefer not to go on the trip because he's a risk to anybody, or are you simply saying that to cover yourself?' And they said, we have to tell you that to cover ourself, but he's not a risk."
Speaker, his new wife and her 8-year-old daughter were already in Europe when the CDC contacted him and told him to turn himself in immediately at a clinic there and not take another commercial flight.
Speaker said he felt as if the CDC had suddenly "abandoned him." He said he believed if he didn't get to the specialized clinic in Denver, he would die.
Ironically, he's a personal injury lawyer. Or maybe not ironically. It always is someone else's fault for personal injury lawyers, isn't it?
Double irony, his new father-in-law is a CDC microbiologist who specializes in drug-resistnat tuberculosis. Don't blame him:
"I wasn't involved in any decisions my son-in-law made regarding his travel," Robert Cooksey said in a statement issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
He says he did not act as a CDC official in any aspect of this case and is certain his son-in-law, identified as personal-injury lawyer Andrew Speaker, 31, from Atlanta, did not contract the disease as a result of his own contact with it.
Fortunately, it is believed that his tuberculosis is in a stage which is not easily passed on to others. Although his doctors can be faulted for not insisting that he cancel his travel plans, it's pretty obvious that the blame lies with him in exposing even more people to his disease:
Despite warnings from federal health officials not to board another long flight, he flew home for treatment, fearing he wouldn't survive if he didn't reach the U.S., he said. He said he tried to sneak home by way of Canada instead of flying directly into the U.S.
Sneaking in through Canada. It worked!
posted by Sydney on 6/01/2007 08:01:00 AM 10 comments
Geez, I don't know.
So if a doctor tells you you're not a risk to other people, how is that "blaming it on others"?
By 7:08 PM, at
"So if a doctor tells you you're not a risk to other people, how is that "blaming it on others"?
By 8:57 PM, at
Actually, he said his doctors told him that he was not a risk of infection to others, and they admitted they were just saying it to cover themselves.
By 1:45 AM, at
The tape was of the first conversation, prior to his leaving the country. The patient was told not to fly in far stronger terms when he was in Europe because of the findings that the strain of TB he had was extremely drug resistant. He was told to report to health authorities in Italy for treatment. He did not follow these instructions. He was also told not to board another aircraft and in fact was told he would be prohibited from reentering the US by air by being put on the U.S. Homeland Security No-Fly list, which would cause him to be intercepted before boarding. He must have known how serious the authorities were that he comply so he sought a return route that would allow him to return to North America with the least chance at being intercepted on either end. He chose to go to Prague, take a Czech Air flight to Montreal, which was unlikely to have a manifest screening since the flight was not going to the United States. He then drove to the U.S. border where he was intercepted but, due to the pathetic ineptitude of the border agent, was not detained as ordered.
By 8:46 AM, at
He said he believed if he didn't get to the specialized clinic in Denver, he would die.
By 12:42 PM, at
"He said he believed if he didn't get to the specialized clinic in Denver, he would die."
By 9:30 PM, at
By 10:23 AM, at
I think this is a bad doctor practic