Home > Health Law Reform -- General, Insurance > Illuminating an illness without end: Fellows Friday with Jennifer Brea

Illuminating an illness without end: Fellows Friday with Jennifer Brea

Could someone without healthcare insurance and only showing up at an ER, looking for charity care, ever have been diagnosed or treated appropriately?

TED Blog


Three years ago, Jennifer Brea, then a PhD student in political science, was struck down by what appeared to be a severe flu. It turned out to be the beginning of a long illness — including neurological dysfunction and extreme exhaustion — that she has yet to recover from. Discovering that the medical community did not recognize her illness and worse, dismissed it as hysteria, Brea did her own research and discovered that there is a name for what she was experiencing: myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), a devastating, misunderstood and ignored disease affecting millions.

To call attention to the plight of those suffering from ME, Brea is making a film, titled Canary in a Coal Mine, to offer firsthand insight into what it feels like to live with this debilitating disease. Its Kickstarter campaign, launched just days ago, has already almost met its target, a clear indication that the…

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  1. Estelle
    October 27, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Yes. You can go to an ER with no insurance and get excellent care – appropriate care and accurate diagnosis. To ask the question with the same rhetoric of ‘Could I go to the moon today?’ is insulting to the men and women who fight on your behalf in the ER every day. Perhaps the better question is could you see a specialist under those same circumstances. The answer is ‘No.’


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