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It’s their choice

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Constant coughing, reoccurring respiratory difficulties, high susceptibility to bacterial infections and no cure in sight. This is the situation nearly 30,000 Americans face in their day-to-day lives. They suffer from a debilitating genetic disease called Cystic Fibrosis.

Though there are medical treatments available to help ease the suffering of Cystic Fibrosis patients, the best medicine might be through social networks made up of other people fighting the same disease.

However, due to the high suseptability of infection from being around other patients with a similar illness, doctors feel the need to cut these programs for health and safety reasons.

University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison has such a network established for Cystic Fibrosis patients. To the demise of fellow doctors and experts at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the support group has been in existence for three years. Though the group is operated under extremely hygienic conditions and under the direction of the hospital’s infection control doctors, critics call the group dangerous because patients can contract bacteria from other patients which could be resistant to the patient’s current medical regimen.

Choosing to attend this support network is the lone choice of the patient. Since Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder, patients know the risks associated with the disease from birth and can make clear, informed decisions on how fully they want to live their life.

Social support groups positively affect the quality of life for patients with life-threatening diseases.

If the hospital is doing everything it can to ensure the safety of the patients involved, and the patients are making the decision to attend and aren’t forced, there should be no reason to stop this alternative form of treatment.

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The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.
It’s their choice