If you look up the stats for France, you'll see what I mean though. I also know from living there for so many years that, many people are prescribed medication immediately for the slightest personal problem or especially, work related problems and in some instances, the latter is so that you can claim depression, nervous breakdowns etc to get compensated.
Here's a small abstract issued by the National Health insurance website and I believe it's got an English version on the page. http://www.ameli.fr/235/DOC/2360/article.html
The French apparently outstrip the European neighbors in consumption of psychotropic medication by leaps and bounds.
Twice the rate of the Spanish, 5 times the Germans, 8 times the British. That's pretty signficant.
Although I'm getting a few studies that show the Brits are outstripping the others for pediatric prescription now.
There is a great amount of fraud in the French system and I really am not overgeneralizing, sadly enough. I only wish I were.
I've even heard people I knew recommend faking illness for higher compensation and leave benefits. Taking that prescription is part of the treatment, so, whether they actually comply or not is unknown, but they have to fill that prescription therefore they'll have it in the house.
I do not dispute the fact that anti depressants or psychotropics are a necessary part of a doctor's therapy, but, I've seen the way some people use that health system.
The current state of affairs is that if you want a doctor who will renew your prescription of something, and Doctor A won't, you go to Doctor B. This exists in other countries, but I don't think they reimburse all these visits. I don't know about the other European countries except for Italy, but, having a doctor write you a note even if it's stretching things, is common practice and openly advised by friends and relatives without embarrassment.
I was the contrary, I took doctor A's advice, got the prescription to take if I really felt bad after losing my job, then, went to doctor B to get clear of things in a different and healthier fashion. If I hadn't had other things to get me through that, who is to say I might not have given in to temptation and taken a cocktail of stuff lying around the house?
I think what I want to point out is that the lady in question would not have been cut off from her benefits if she'd had work related problems (which is not a bad thing obviously) but that she would have had ample access to a number of drugs, maybe filled prescriptions just to be reimbursed by her insurance, then they would be there on the shelf.
Another thing, whether it's over generalizing or not, but, seniors are routinely prescribed a panoply of medication for every single conceivable thing. Some of my French family members are taking about ten or twelve different medications twice a day. The average medicine cabinet of a senior is full of prescriptions and frequently on TV, they ask for these at the pharmacies to recycle them or dispose of them properly. I've heard of two people we've known checked in for overdosing on prescription medication during a depressing incident.
The Italians are not to that level, nor do I think they ever will be.
Back to the poor lady in question, I think I wanted to show how in France, with the current state of health care, she would have had the full range of benefits, including pyschiatric care or psychological help. She would probably have had the right to an aide to help her at home if she qualified, which many many people do.
But, if she was really distraught over her problems and had 'overconsulted' doctors around her area and had a full medicine cabinet because she'd gone from one to the other, she would have had the necessary cocktail to drown out her problems. I feel more compassion than anything else.
The French system is excellent for some things, but, because it's all reimbursed (my alternative care was a regular MD with training in Eastern therapy and methods of treatment and was not reimbursed fully) people tend to overconsume things.
As to her transplant, the one thing I find disturbing is that she's openly defiant of her physician's telling her to stop smoking because of, besides the obvious reasons, circulatory concerns.
I think the dog may have saved her life as well as risked it.