One year ago almost today, a woman overdosed, was saved by Narcan, transported by ambulance to a local hospital and told by the Registered Nurse to
"Get out of my emergency room!"
This nurse continued on with her career and so did this almost died patient of Substance Use Disorder.
Based on averages that have been shared with me, it's not unreasonable to think that this patient, having been thrown out of an emergency room has performed 10 acts of prostitution every 24 hours seven days per week since that day. That's 3,650 times that she has hopped in a car, been parked in a back alley, or taken to a hotel room or private home in Philadelphia or its suburbs (including New Jersey), risked various forms of harsh and threatening treatment including rape, been occasionally threatened at knife and/or gunpoint and gone through some of this from time to time intensely dope sick.
Let's add another sickening element. Again, based on what these ladies have told me, at least 6 of those ten 'dates' in each 24-hour cycle are married or otherwise in an actual committed relationship.
When a Registered Nurse who had committed her career to the ideals of Hippocrates looks at a patient in her care and demands "Get out of my emergency room!", she also demands abject failure of that opportunity for healing in the life of that patient.
If this same nurse had honored her Hippocratic Oath, maybe, just maybe, this woman, this patient with Substance Use Disorder, would have found healing. In finding healing, she would not have done 3,650 'dates'. X number of threats of violence and rape that will forever go unreported would never have happened. 2,190 violations of marriage or committed relationship would not have found opportunity with this patient.
Harm Reduction practices must involve more than the typically understood elements. Harm reduction must also involve the suspension of the license of any medical professional who does not honor their Hippocratic Oath as they deal with Medicaid-reliant men and women who suffer from the officially recognized diagnosis of Substance Use Disorder.