Thursday, November 01, 2007

9/11 Cop's he a hero or not?

While not a Colorado matter the recent controversy over the death of a NYC detective who spent over 400 hours at the 9/11 site and died from lung problems points out that injuries or diseases from work exposure may not be simple matters. In this case one side says death came from the 9/11 exposure to dust, fibers etc., and another side says the death was inflicted by injecting ground up drugs which then went to the lungs and killed him. This problem is one where medical experts disagree and that is trouble. It is far more common then most people realize. One very common example is carpal tunnel syndrome or cumulative trauma disorder where the injured worker claims work activities caused hand, arm or wrist pain and the other side says not so. The claimant has to prove it likely came from work or they lose. Well, it takes a courageous authorized treating doctor to go against a medical expert hired by the insurer to question the work relatedness of the injury. Often the doctor is designated by the insurer/employer so they may have to balance between the patient and the insurance (just my opinion dear reader but I believe it is so). Anyway back to the cop story. If the officer worked hundreds of hours at ground zero and developed lung problems and he was then prescribed numerous drugs which may have gone to his lungs isn't it still work related? Do we blame the hero for this? If he was so stressed he also went the wrong way do we say it's all on him? Doesn't it all really flow from his work at ground zero? In this case I believe that he was being taken care of so he likely died from his job activities or treatment for his occupational disease but it's not my call. To me he's absolutely a hero. Read about the dispute here:

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