It has been five years since I was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. A year after my diagnosis I sought the advice of a pulmonary specialist who suggested that I might benefit from treatment with interferon beta-1a (intron A), which is the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for this purpose. After years of hard work, however, my insurance company denied coverage for intron A because it involved blood transfusions.
I then sought out an attorney in South Carolina who specializes in practicing medicine without obtaining informed consent, an act known as physician-assisted suicide or “right to die.” This attorney advised me to contact two doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center; one specializes in treating fatal diseases like my own while another specializes in kidney transplants for terminal patients like myself. The latter doctor was willing to administer intron A but would not accept payment directly from my health insurance company unless they also reimbursed him for his services. Obviously he could not do that; therefore he xeroxed a form letter requesting reimbursement and had his staff mail it on our behalf using his cell phone number as return address! Not surprisingly, no money ever came through so we were forced to seek help elsewhere again.. . .