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[IP] Diabetes and the Legal System...HELP!
As many of you know,I am a CDE. I have been assisting a 22 year old girl
with an insulin pump. She has had diabetes most of her life. She has been
having severe problems in balancing her insulin/glucose levels. In March
she experienced a seizure that was attributed to a medication (Cipro) that
she was taking for a kidney infection. Since then she has had black outs
and seizures on a consistent basis. Since there is a history in her family
of Epilepsy, the physicians pretty much ruled this as the cause but failed
to medicate her hoping that once the diabetes "settled" (hey, wish mine
would) the seizure disorder and blackouts would stop.
Two weeks ago this young lady which is very polite and honest was leaving a
local grocery store in her city (She lives in the state of Illinois) and
once she arrived at her car and started placing her groceries in the
backseat, was confronted by a shoppers asking if she paid for her groceries.
My patient said that she did and that she would be glad to show management a
receipt. She couldn't find the receipt and panicked after she realized that
she had accidently dropped her purse and half of her belongs, including her
coupons and receipt had blown away or was lost.
They dragged her back into the store and called the police. She was upset
and couldn't remember which check out lane she went through (there is
fifteen and they were changing shifts at the time). They totaled what was in
her cart and it didn't match anything on the register she thought she went
through. She was hauled off to the police station and booked for felony
theft. The police were afraid to have a person with diabetes and her
problems in the station so they let her go...only to have her walk 45
minutes back to her car at the grocery store parking lot.
She stated that she became ill a few times in the store and asked for a
restroom and she also remembers blood in her mouth. I feel that she may
have experienced a seizure and may have thought she paid for the merchandise
but didn't. She says she remembers paying for the groceries because she had
a set amount of money when she went into the store and change that came
close to the total that she would have got back in her hand when she reached
her car. She just cannot find the receipt and the store is not helpful at
all about trying to assist us.
The police were awful. She asked if one of the officiers could allow her to
eat a glucose tablet because she was low. He said "No, these could be
Ectasy or some other drug disguised as a glucose tablet". Note that she had
individually wraped glucose tablets that were clearly marked. When she got
back to her car and tested, she was 24.
Now, my questions are for all of you legal beagles and people that have
experience with illness and the legal system. First, if a person has a
condition that causes seizures that leave a person functional but not
totally aware of what they have done in the last 24 hours, isn't there some
sort of mercy shown by the court for this person that has absolutely no
record no criminal record? Secondly, is there anything thing under
Americans With Disabilities Act that protects or grants understanding in a
situation like this?
This girl is terrified. They have set her bail at $20,000 which means she
must come up with $2,000 in order to stay out of the pin. She works hard,
but her medical condition has left her unable to work for the last several
months. SO, I along with several other people are trying to find an
attorney that will help her out for a reduced rate.
She has deteriorated drastically because of the stress. So, if anyone can
answer my questions and maybe give me a heads up about the law and ADA, it
would help a lot. Otherwise this little girl faces a felony for the rest of
her life and possibly over a year in jail.
Thanks to everyone,
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