The head bone's connected to...
May 14, 2004 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Having half of your skull missing isn't a disability. Here, take this hockey helmet, and have a nice day.
posted by mr_crash_davis (24 comments total)
Brings an entirely new meaning to the concept of getting skullfucked.
posted by filmgoerjuan at 12:38 PM on May 14, 2004

you're right. it's obviously a dangerous homosexual behavior.
posted by quonsar at 12:40 PM on May 14, 2004

She was given a plastic street hockey helmet to wear during the day for protection.

"You'd think they could give me something better protective," said Lane. "Like a skull, perhaps."

I dunno, that quote just made the whole article for me.
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:50 PM on May 14, 2004

Bloody Hell.

You know, I'll be the first to admit that the National Health Service has its fair share of faults, is five-year-plan inefficient and somehow manages to employ more peons than any other employer in western Europe but you, my American friends, really, really need to sort your healthcare system out.

This is simply inhuman.
posted by dmt at 1:14 PM on May 14, 2004

I'm still sympathetic and feel our health care system shouldn't be dicking people around like this, but for Pete's sake, I hope she's learned a lesson about drinking and driving. It's just not worth it, is it?
posted by pyramid termite at 1:47 PM on May 14, 2004

I agree. It's harder to feel as much sympathy for her given that this accident stems from a DUI. I mean, she's lucky she "only" lost part of her skull and didn't end up dying or killing someone else.
posted by Jugwine at 1:56 PM on May 14, 2004

I want to be sympathetic, but I can't get past the fact that she was intoxicated and driving with a suspended license. While the state of medical care is apalling in America, so is the unwillingness of some to take personal responsibility for their actions.

Too bad she couldn't share a hospital room with this girl, who also doesn't have health insurance.
posted by kristin at 1:57 PM on May 14, 2004

I like her stupid lies about how she was doused with a beer when the Jeep rolled (why did it roll again, silly?) and how she ignores the results of the breathalyzer.
posted by agregoli at 2:12 PM on May 14, 2004

I wonder if she was wearing a seatbelt, as the article says she was thrown from the jeep.... Seems likely she wasn't. And how long was her license expired? It said she was 22, but it expired when she was 21. Who drives with an expired license for a year and doesn't bother to renew it? I know in every state I've checked its only $50 or so to renew for a few years, its not like you'd intentionally avoid it, like having to spend $1000 for insurance. I feel sorry for her, but she seems to have some other quite serious issues previous to her accident.
posted by stryder at 2:47 PM on May 14, 2004

Yeah, the lies are stupid, and having just recently sat on a jury in a DUI case where we convicted the defendant on irrefutable breathalyzer evidence, quite futile IMO.


We have here in our land some clearly prescribed penalties for DUI, usually (depending on the state in question) loss of driver's license, big fines, outrageous insurance surcharges, and for repeated offenses jail time thrown on top of it (CA can throw you in jail for up to 6 months on a first offense, but that rarely happens). We also have a legal system which handles prosecution of that punishment, which I'm sure is being applied in this case.

I highly doubt you'll find in any statute the assertion that appropriate punishment is TO HAVE HALF YOUR SKULL STAY MISSING FOR MONTHS.

Let's please separate the two crimes here; leave out the DUI and concentrate on the appalling failure of the medical system, shall we?

What the hell ever happened to the Hippocratic Oath? How did anyone with an M.D. let this woman leave a hospital with half her damn skull missing??!?
posted by zoogleplex at 2:52 PM on May 14, 2004

irrefutable breathalyzer evidence,

DUI is based on the level in the BLOOD as the normal definition is the blood alcohol level. "irrefutable" would be a blood sample. Because, one could take a hit of Listerine and then fail a breathalizer.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:01 PM on May 14, 2004

I was going to make a snarky comment about half of her brain missing, but she's been through enough. Give her a new head already.
posted by PrinceValium at 3:07 PM on May 14, 2004

If anything, I would have had her on the mend twice as fast, so her irresponsible drunk-driving ass could be in court post-haste.

As much as it fulfills an inborn need for revenge, saying she deserved shoddy medical treatment due to her DUI is very calloused. Hospitals are not courts, and doctor's are not judges. The thought of a doctor's level of care depending on his / her personal judgement of me is appaling, to say the least.

When they fixed her skull, maybe they should have injected 50cc's of common sense so the next time she drinks herself into a stupor she isn't careless enough to drive.
posted by Dark Messiah at 3:12 PM on May 14, 2004

They should make her continue to wear the helmet... skull replacement or not. THAT should be the punishment.
posted by Witty at 3:31 PM on May 14, 2004

I highly doubt you'll find in any statute the assertion that appropriate punishment is TO HAVE HALF YOUR SKULL STAY MISSING FOR MONTHS.

thank you zoogleplex. the rest of these ____ apparently didn't get it.
posted by quonsar at 3:34 PM on May 14, 2004

We have got to hook this chick up with Keyser Soze. (I kid 'cause I love.)
posted by nicwolff at 4:19 PM on May 14, 2004

Similar thing happened in Oz recently.

A young fella got the "wear a helmet treatment". Except it was slightly worse coz the bit of skull they preserved for later re attachment got lost or died or something.

Then a tabloid news show jumped on his case.

So here's this bloke with a SERIOUSLY fucked up head - no joke, it looked awful - bawling his eyes out, saying to the camera, "I just want me 'ed back."

If it wasn't so tragic it would have been hella funny. He was a bit of a slow talking, country lad. Pleading that he gets his ‘ed back.

This is the best link I could find.

ps: There was a happy ending!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:39 PM on May 14, 2004

quonsar - i believe the phrase you're looking for is "sensible people". No one begrudged her a new skull in this thread, they just questioned her judgement.

Robert Heinlein said it best - "Stupidity cannot be cured. Stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death. There is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity."

She was lucky. And in prior days, I was lucky too, much luckier than her - so it goes.
posted by pyramid termite at 7:08 PM on May 14, 2004

Oh the technology , oh the humanity....

We can plant a gps in your head to track your position, a cellphone in your hear to direct you to the nearest toilet , a laser pointer in your privates so that you'll pee with much needed accuracy; all of this while a webcam shows your assets to one bazillion voyeurs who paid by credit card and book their dentists by bluetooth.

Yet, when it comes to reinstall some person skull we return to middle ages because if you don't have a cellphone you're handicapped, if you miss half a skull all you need is helmet.

See a money trend ? A la Fark : still no cure for cancer.
posted by elpapacito at 7:20 PM on May 14, 2004

"Who drives with an expired license for a year and doesn't bother to renew it?"—stryder
Um, well, uh. So, you see, my DL's been expired since 1996. That's, um, eight years? Yeah, eight years. See, I came here to Texas at the beginning of 1996, and my New Mexico license expired in Nov. I mean, I didn't even have a car half that year anyway. But, once an out-of-state license is expired, Texas law requires not only the written test, but another driving test, as well. Well, in spite of having passed the test several times over two or three years, the limited days and hours for taking the driving exam thwarted me and each time the window of opportunity from the date of the written exam closed (only three weeks).

I finally just said screw it, and got an ID instead. And now I don't have a car again, so it's not a priority. I guess I've been ticketed a couple of times in the last eight years for not having a current license; but each time being sternly reminded by the police that I'm required by Texas law to update my address within 30 days of a move, ever, just rubs me the wrong way and I get truculent.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:09 PM on May 14, 2004

I'm too tired to RTFA, but what about the woman's personal health insurance or health coverage that came with her car insurance? And if she didn't purchase either for herself why should the hospital pay for it?
posted by BackwardsHatClub at 11:13 PM on May 14, 2004

Robert Heinlein said it best - "Stupidity cannot be cured. Stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death. There is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity."

With respect pyramid, that's not the only moronic thing that sci-fi writer wrote. He also wrote:

"A government-supported artist is an incompetent whore." [Robert Heinlein, Jubal Harshaw in "Stranger in a Strange Land"]

A dubious value judgement, unproveable and in my view wrong.

"Every law that was ever written opened up a new way to graft." [Robert Heinlein, Jim Marlowe in "Red Planet"]

Really, like say the European Convention on Human Rights?

But my personal favourite:

"I would say that my position is not too far from that of Ayn Rand's; that I would like to see government reduced to no more than internal police and courts, external armed forces--with the other matters handled otherwise. I'm sick of the way the government sticks its nose into everything, now." [Robert A. Heinlein in "The Robert Heinlein Interview And Other Heinleinana" by J. Neil Schulman]

Look, silly rabbit, the law exists in a legal-rational soceity to protect the stupid from themselves. Crucifying them with it serves nobody's interests but the jail builders.
posted by dmt at 3:57 AM on May 15, 2004

Robert Heinlein said it best - "Stupidity cannot be cured. Stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death. There is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity."

Huh? Does this mean that, being smart, I will live forever?


And when exactly does the death penalty for stupidity kick in? 'Cause there are a few people walking around who, it seems to me, should have been processed by the Stupidity Death Squad already. I'm sure I don't need to mention names.
posted by jokeefe at 5:27 PM on May 15, 2004

rough ashlar, a belated reply (this weekend was a busy one and I didn't touch the computer):

No, you can't fail a breathalyzer after swishing yourself some Listerine. The folks who design these instruments are pretty clever, I learned during the course of my jury service; they have in fact designed the devices to specifically ignore the effects of mouth alcohol, programming their little computer brains to see the pattern of how mouth alcohol "blows" through the machine, and discounting it. There are also many strict procedures in place regarding how the police apply the tests which are, concurrently, specifically designed to rule out the possibility of mouth alcohol or other factors giving an incorrect reading. Some requirements of that procedure are to wait and observe the suspect for 15 minutes before applying the test (to be sure suspect is not eating, drinking, puking, or swishing Listerine, all of which can affect the test) and to administer the test at least twice , with at least 5 minutes between tests. Also, if the tests do not agree to within a close percentage amount, they have to administer another test. This is all to rule out both device failure and factors other than blood alcohol.

The breathalyzers all test "deep lung air," air that has actually just been in contact with your blood in the alveolae at the bottom of the lungs. That's why you have to blow into the device until you run out of breath.

Years of rigorous scientific testing have validated the accuracy of the machines - including the little handheld one that many police forces now carry in their cars to test you on the spot. The machines are so good and the procedures are so strict, that the only way you're going to get off a DUI where you've tested over 0.08 (in CA) four times on two different devices, is if the cops have messed up on procedure and administered the tests either at the wrong time or too long after initially stopping you (in CA they have 3 hours to get you tested).

Here's a link for some further study. Pretty neat what you can learn in jury duty huh? Trust me - you don't want the CHP to bust you for drunk driving. They're extremely competent, judging by what I saw in court.

Anyway, not to derail. Sure, this woman is stupid for driving drunk and getting her head smashed in. But her insurance company leaving half her skull wide open, exposing her brain to injury and possible infection for months, telling her to wear a bicycle helmet... that's just beyond appalling. She didn't deserve that, no matter how dumb she was. She HAD health coverage for JUST this sort of emergency. The insurance people utterly betrayed her. Hell she could have gotten any kind of horrible infection in her brain and died with needless suffering.

The fact that many of you are essentially saying "serves her right" is chilling, to say the least.
posted by zoogleplex at 11:28 AM on May 17, 2004

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