Enabling the disabled?
Fam Pract Manag. 2006 May;13(5):25.
I agreed wholeheartedly with Dr. James Glazer [“Disabled … or Otherwise Enabled?” March 2006] until he took out his pen to sign the handicapped tag certification. A few years ago I refused to do this for a patient with arthritis whose situation was similar to that of Dr. Glazer's patient. The rules for certification in our state are very clear (inability to walk more than 200 feet without an assistive device or person), as are the penalties for falsification of reports. I pointed out to the man, a longtime patient, that I knew he was easily able to walk more than 200 feet, as he had recently returned from a trip to China where he had walked extensively. He became very angry, snatched up his form and left. Months later, he returned to the office for routine care and thanked me profusely for refusing to sign his form. He said his mobility had improved tremendously since he stopped parking in handicapped spaces and started walking more. I felt so good when I went home that night. When I'm pressured by patients who don't qualify for a permit, I point out the section of the form that states I could be fined $1,000 for submitting false information.
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