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Doctor won't sign medical release. What to do?

Discussion in 'Divers with Disabilities' started by AndrewST, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. pasley

    pasley Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Lakewood, CA
    I see nothing in the profile here that would indicate the father would be unable to help. I know a diver who is an incomplete quadriplegic and he has demonstrated that he can retrieve a body from the ocean floor, bring them to the surface, do mouth to mouth while towing the unconscious diver. A back injury does not equate to unable to do help remove kelp or fishing line entangled around my first stage, or being able to do a tired buddy tow or otherwise help. It just means it is best to gear up and off in water.
  2. Killer&Griller

    Killer&Griller Captain

    Call Hank, he will give you an honest opinion. With any luck, Divya will give him the exam. If Evan comes by, tell him the check is in the mail......... :wink:

    As already mentioned, sounds as though you need to find a doctor that specializes in diving. By chance have you contacted DAN for a referral?
  3. clay144

    clay144 Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Jackson nj
    Try talking to a DAN Dr. who has experience in the area your talking about. HSA is also a good alternative.
  4. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rhode Island, USA
    All this swimming BS comes from the days of old when you HAD to be a strong swimmer. We had no BC maybe a small horsecollar. Swimming was a life saving skill.
    Today? please, with BC's SPG's almost anyone can dive safely,by staying within their limits. A true test would be a 200M swim in full gear and an inflated BC. If you can't do that then no cert. Who's going to doff their BC, take off their wetsuit, fins, mask and snorkel to swim? What a lot of BS!
  5. satwar

    satwar Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Sudbury, Ontario
    From personal experience, a great way to resolve this issue is to find an instructor certified by HSA(Handicapped Scuba Association). They have medical contacts that understand the HSA program and what level of scuba competency your dad can expect to achieve, and will get him in the water. On the other hand, if they say no, I think your dad should really rethink his desire to dive.

    I was fortunate to stumble on my HSA instructor (the only one for hundreds of miles), therefore not sure how you find them, but assume the HSA website is a good place to start.
  6. RonFrank

    RonFrank Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Conifer, CO
    My thought is that you don't HANDLE IT. Your father is incapable of general certification, and for good reason. Your doctor is right for refusing to sign the release, and while you may find a doctor that will, IMO that is a poor decision.

    He should go the route of handicapped diver if he wants to dive. Diving requires swimming, and 200M is hardly an extreme swim. If he can exercise in the pool, and overcome his inability to make that swim, then he is ready to try certification again. If not, then for his safety it maybe best for him to skip diving.

    I understand it can be a hard truth, but honestly I've been in some situations that required a heck of a lot more than 200 yards of swimming....
  7. maxnico

    maxnico Angel Fish

    Medicine in America is a phone call away from a law suit at no cost to the injured. Blame the messenger all you want. The truth is we all lie about personal responsibility and they we go underwater, have a negative outcome and go back to the deepest pocket. I am all for handicapped access to diving but it, like medicine, is an art as well as a science so we really need to discuss risk tolerance honestly or the us vs them will not stop and the issues get lost in greed.
  8. Goannaman

    Goannaman Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Orlando,FL
    I will chime in with, if a person can't swim 200 yards without gear, that person probably shouldn't dive.

    Having lost my right leg below the knee, I understand limitations suck. It isn't fun not to be able to do something you want to do. Fortunately, I don't have a problem swimming.

    To me, regardless of technology, swimming remains a key component of diving. It's all well and good to say that technology has made up for those deficits, but it is harder to swim at the surface geared up (even if you can just float with a safety sausage and wait for the boat) than it is to swim at the surface without your gear.

    The requirement isn't there because you need to freestyle 200 yards on a regular basis, but because if things go wrong, you may need to. And, it may be the difference between life or death.
  9. fisheater

    fisheater Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sebastopol, CA
    And it may not be YOUR life that you need to save.
  10. pasley

    pasley Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Lakewood, CA
    I agree with much of what you say. That said, we do certify complete quadriplegic divers. In the event they can't swim (total quadriplegic would of course not be able to swim, an incomplete quadriplegic is another story and one has left me behind on the surface because I could not keep up) they would be certified with an HSA class C Certification card which requires them to dive with specially trained Handicapped Dive Buddies. To be precise, 2 dive buddies, one with HSA Dive Buddy or higher certification, the other preferably HSA Dive Buddy or higher or at least Rescue. We also set our no-dive decision point threshold a little lower or to put it another way, Conditions that you may dive in as marginally OK we would sit out. We also make it a point to enjoy the dive close to the boat or to select the site where a long surface swim is not required for our beach dive.

    Not a certified Dive Buddy? Contact your local HSA Instructor or www.HSASCUBA.com for details on how to be a certified dive buddy.

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