I just got out of a fascinating talk that has me all fired up. Here’s the gist: should we restrict the rights of people on insulin for their diabetes to drive?
It turns out that Indiana, where I live, restricts people on insulin from driving commercially. No truck drivers, ambulance drivers, etc. This is because there is a belief – not backed up by solid evidence – that people who have insulin are a significantly greater risk to themselves and others on the road, if they let themselves get hypoglycemic.
I had no idea. It’s driving me crazy. Here are some of the questions I asked*:
- If I wear eyeglasses, I could potentially be at risk if I chose not to manage my terrible vision correctly. Shouldn’t I be similarly constrained then?
- What about the elderly? They are more likely to get in accidents, too. Shouldn’t they be restricted, too?
- People who are sleep deprived are also impaired (there’s research for that). Should we start restricting driving for people who don’t get enough sleep?
- Should we restrict gun sales to those with diabetes? They could also get hypoglycemic and shoot someone.
- Why, in the US, would we seek to restrict the rights of a group of people with no solid evidence behind it, let alone even with minimal evidence?
Mind you, I live in Indiana. It’s a pretty conservative state. Where are the people fighting against this? Where are the lawsuits?
*Just so you know, I expect the answer to every one of these questions to be “no”. I just fail to see why they are different, and why we are singling out driving and people who take insulin for diabetes.