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Time for a Good Debate - Should you be held responsible...

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by Lee, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. Lee

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    If you are Type 1 and suffer a low blood sugar while driving?

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2...ary-in-car-crashes-to-take-medical-leave?lite

    I find this case very interesting and wonder if they are going to charge him for causing two accidents and fleeing the scene of the crime all due to a medical reason. Sure, maybe he didn't know he had a medical reason, but still, will our kids know they are suddenly dropping low while driving? Isn't part of being low having impaired processing skills?

    Yet, in these cases, http://diabetesnewshound.com/type1/solomon/ and http://diabetesnewshound.com/type1/yraceburn/ - the drivers were still charged with manslaughter, one where the DA said - "Diabetes is not on trial, the way he handled diabetes is" and hypoglycemic unawareness was not taken into consideration. The DA also says that "Mr. Campos has chosen in managing his diabetes was one of willful negligence by managing it by a lot of different ways than by with insulin and a lot of the other things doctors had told him." and compares the driver to a drunk driver.

    (I just randomly pulled this case because the driver was known to hypoglycemic unawareness and there was an interview with the DA - which I found interesting. There are any # of cases similar to this)

    I am curious how this case will play out since he is part of the presidential board and what impact it may have on cases of Type 1 accidents.
     
  2. Connie(BC)Type 1

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    I don't see where it says Mr Bryson has Type 1, Mr Campos on the other hand appears to knowingly drive when he shouldn't. I gave up my license, because I truly don't think with tight management it's wise to drive, unless maybe you have an accurate(100%) CGMS or test every 1/2 hour to hour while driving(I did and still had shocking swings because of driving). Just MHO!

    Oh and YES, I think no matter what the Medical condition, you should be held accountable, a driver's license is a priviledge, not a right!
     
  3. Lee

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    He doesn't - the article says seizures.

    What do you do if there is no public transportation where you live? I can see this working in urban settings, but not rural.
     
  4. Amy C.

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    If you have a condition where you would lose consciousness, you shouldn't drive. It is simply not fair to the other drivers to be a hazard on the road.

    Being on insulin doesn't mean you can't drive. Many are aware of their lows and their sugar keeps steady. If you have a history of being unaware of your lows and could pass out, you shouldn't be behind the wheel.
     
  5. DsMom

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    They don't seem to mention if he checked his BG before driving or did so on a regular basis...but seem to imply that he did not and does not. Even though I know a good BG before driving will not necessarily stay that way, I think not checking is negligent and dangerous to other people on the road. We're planning on getting our son a CGM shortly...but he will surely have one before he learns to drive. I think that's an important tool for driving safely with D.

    I think, in certain cases, a person with D could be held liable for an accident when they are proven to be grossly negligent of caring for their condition. Although lows can pop up at any time, getting into a car without checking or caring if you are low and a danger to other people...you should be held responsible if you hurt someone. However, if you are normally diligent, check before driving, and that sudden low comes along and diminishes your capacity and results in an accident...then I think D, and not the person, is to blame.
     
  6. danismom79

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    I agree with this. I know a CDE who is hypo unaware and has a documented history of frequent lows. She had trouble waking in the morning, and she would show up to work - having driven there - low on several occasions. Her coworkers kept candy and soda everywhere, even in their own desks. Finally, her doctor wrote a letter (or whatever it is they do) and got her license suspended for 6 months. He got her off the road before she could hurt herself or someone else.
     
  7. Lee

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    So - what would be considered negligent in this situation? Having a tightly controlled blood sugar is one of the dangers of more lows. With that in mind, does that mean that an A1C less then 7 would be considered negligent? These are the things I ponder.

    And I have mixed feelings on this. I think every T1 should test prior to driving. But what happens to those that drop suddenly in the middle of drive?
     
  8. DsMom

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    (From my previous post) Although lows can pop up at any time, getting into a car without checking or caring if you are low and a danger to other people...you should be held responsible if you hurt someone. However, if you are normally diligent, check before driving, and that sudden low comes along and diminishes your capacity and results in an accident...then I think D, and not the person, is to blame.

    As for the A1c, I don't think that matters. Yes, you are at more risk of lows with a lower A1c, but it's the testing before driving...and pulling over to test during if you feel low or you are going to be driving for a long time, that makes for a safe driver with D. I think not doing this is negligent.
     
  9. TheFormerLantusFiend

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    You know what your blood sugars are like. If you know that you have sudden severe lows or that your low symptoms start at the severe end, you shouldn't drive.

    I was debating whether or not to get a driver's license when I was diagnosed with diabetes, and the diagnosis ended my internal debate. If I got a driver's license and killed somebody while low, it would be my fault.

    I don't know how I'd feel if I'd been living in a rural area in the first place. I would never move into an area where there was absolutely no public transportation unless I lived within walking distance of my job and within walking distance of a grocery store. But I think the city has other advantages for me personally, such as access to major hospitals, and a Jewish community. I do ride a bike, occasionally, and I often do long distance walking- I suspect if I drove I'd actually be less healthy anyways because all that walking is good for me.
     
  10. RomeoEcho

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    Regardless of the reason for the accident, if you cause an accident, you are responsible and should be charged accordingly. If there are circumstances contributing to the accident, sentencing varies, and I think the sentence should be different than those who text while driving or drive drunk, but you are still responsible.
     
  11. Lee

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    So, you think the US Commerce Secretary, who has no history of seizure or other medical issues, should go to jail for wrecking two cars and leaving the scene?
     
  12. TheFormerLantusFiend

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    Can you give us a link?
     
  13. RomeoEcho

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    Please reread what I wrote, and keep in mind that I was answering the question that you asked. If you asked what I thought the criminal sentence should be in this particular case, I would not have responded to this thread.

    I think they are still responsible for the accident and that is not excused because a person had a low blood sugar, a heart attack, stroke or seizure. At the time of sentencing, circumstances should be considered in deciding whether the person should go to jail, have their license revoked or whatever is appropriate. However your question was "should a person with type 1 be held responsible for causing an accident while low" and I believe fully that yes, we should, regardless of what level of "control" you or anyone else thinks they have. Again, I think it is a different crime than texting or drinking while driving, but I don't think that I should be allowed to kill people just because I was low. There is also no excuse for yelling at my boss because I am low, or hurting or snapping at my partner because I am low. All of these actions have consequences, regardless of what your blood sugar is. And yes, it sucks, because it makes things harder for us, but it's one of the burdens that comes with diabetes.
     
  14. Lee

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  15. sooz

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    This accident actually happened in the city in which I live. I drive on that street frequently. He lives in a smaller city two blocks north of my home. It was reported in our local papers. They are speculating that he had a seizure or possibly even a mini stroke. I don't think he should face legal consequences from a medical emergency that could not have been foreseen. This was not a bg issue. The two accidents happened within minutes of one another and it seems clear to me he was not functioning responsibly due to his medical condition. There was no alcohol in his system. He needs a thorough neurological exam and perhaps have his license revoked, but is not a criminal and should not be charged with hit and run based on the info I read. I think the issue is one of foreseeability.
     
  16. hawkeyegirl

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    Fortunately, this is not the law.
     
  17. Lee

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    But, hypothetically, what if it were your grandbaby and she was driving (I know - a few years away), and she followed the rules and tested before getting behind the wheel, and then, while driving, she had a sudden drop in BS, and she wrecked, should she be punished? Even though she followed all the rules?

    ETA: Another scenario, I once had a friend with a seizure disorder. He had not had seizures for years. He had one while driving and caused a severe accident. He had no criminal charges brought against him. So, how is this scenario different for folks with Type 1?
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  18. MomofSweetOne

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    I would think the sentencing would/should take into account whether this was a first time medical issue or an on-going medical issue. As much as it hurts to think our kids could be limited, if they are putting others at risk, then their freedoms should be curtailed. I don't see it any differently than for my friend who called her dad's doctor and asked him to pull her dad's license after strokes before he accidentally killed someone. Driving is a privilege, not a right, and as drivers, we have the responsibility to those around us to keep their safety in highest regard. Unfortunately, with all the cell-phones and texting that goes on, that regard for others is less common that it should be.
     
  19. sooz

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    I don't think she should be PUNISHED, as in, criminally punished. However, if it were foreseeable that she would drop that fast (no history of that yet) I think she should be held financially responsible. I think there are things our kids need to do before driving that would prevent that kind of fast drop.
     
  20. Connie(BC)Type 1

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    We're not on a bus route, but luckily my husband drives me everywhere, including " up the wall:D"


    IF, something happens to him, I'll adjust accordingly, probably moving closer to a bus route.
     

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