Friday, May 11, 2012

Motuba the Gorilla Undergoes Surgery at the Nebraska Medical Center – Procedure Raises Health Care Issue Anew

Republicans Say  This Shows Health Care is Available for Everyone - No Need for Any Change in System

In Omaha a 27 year old patient was successfully operated on after a CT scan revealed jaw and tooth injuries.

Motuba, a 27-year-old silverback gorilla, needed a CT scan after a scuffle Thursday night with another gorilla, said Doug Armstrong, director of animal health at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo. The zoo can't perform the scan, so it contacted the hospital, whose staff has been consulted on animal cases in the past.

The cause of the injuries was not immediately known

Motuba is among four silverbacks that socialize at the zoo. Armstrong said Motuba and one of the younger gorillas apparently got into a fight that left the older gorilla with a fractured jaw that pushed three of his teeth outward. No one saw the fight, so it's unclear exactly what happened.

And the entire episode has re-opened the debate over health care access and health insurance in the United States.  A number of questions by Conservative Republicans remain unanswered.

  1. Did the gorilla have health insurance, and if so did that insurance cover jaw and tooth treatment?.  Most health insurance plans do not include dental.  One issue was resolved involving whether or not the gorilla would get taxpayer provided dentures.

After surveying Motuba's injuries, doctors removed a piece of the gorilla's jaw and the askew teeth. While a human could have had his or her jaw repaired and wired shut to heal or could have had teeth replaced with dentures, those treatments don't work for gorillas, Armstrong said.

  1. How did the gorilla handle the co-pay and deductible amount?  Most gorillas do not have bank accounts.

  1. Was the gorilla in the United States illegally? Gorillas are not native to the United States and almost all that reside here were born in a foreign country.  There is no procedure for gorillas to immigrate to the United States, to become legal residents or embark on a path to citizenship.

Civil rights advocates indicated that they will raise questions about segregation after learning this.

Hospital spokesman Paul Baltes said the gorilla was kept separate from human patients, and the medical center's infection-control department was involved in the procedure to ensure there was no contamination.

One issue was
resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.

Areas of the hospital that the gorilla was in will be thoroughly cleaned. 

No comments:

Post a Comment