So, I feel like I submit more homework to this blog than to school here, but whatever. These papers are basically journal/blog entries (two birds, one stone). This is an assignment I wrote for my Country Analysis class:
Last week, three of us were walking away from the MSID office and encountered a situation that none of us were prepared for at the time. As we were walking and enjoying the warm, beautiful day, my friend Anna saw a man begin to move his body violently. He soon fell to the ground and continued to twitch. He proceeded to foam from the mouth and was unresponsive when we rushed over to him. We feared the worst.
Although he was still alive, we were scared for his life. An ambulance could be called, but by seeing how poor he is, they would not allow him a ride because he would not be able to pay the bill. So, I put him on his side and made sure his airway was unobstructed, as instructed by my EMT friend. A random lady was the first one there and checked the man’s pockets for any form of identification to alert someone of his situation. Luckily, in one of the front pockets was a prescription for an epilepsy preventative drug. After he came to in about 30 minutes, he began to explain to us that he just went to the doctor for his check up and prescription refill. Since he could not afford the refill, he went home empty-handed.
The man said without the drugs he could have as many as two seizures every day, but usually one. He said that the pills cost around Ksh1700 ($20). On top of that, he had malaria and was not taking medication for it. This man needed help. But even though he needed financial assistance, we did not know if we should give him any money. It was the most difficult ethical question I had to answer since arriving in Kenya. We didn’t know if he would go give the money to someone else, if he was faking it, or was going to buy food with it, rather than the medication. It was obvious the man needed help, yet we continued to struggle to make a decision.
After much deliberation, I told my friends that we would really regret not trying to help him. Even if he did buy food with the money, Ksh1700 would be enough for a month’s worth of food. But, if he did buy the medication like we hoped, he would be seizure free for over 3 months. If he could go 3 months without a seizure, what a great thing we would have done for him! We potentially could have saved his life. Knowing that, I am glad we did what we did and do not regret it one bit.