This film has been developed as a light hearted, tongue in cheek depiction of one fictional drug user’s experience of discrimination within the health care system. The storyline, whilst not based on any one actual experience, could however be seen in a ‘based on real events’ context in the sense that the storyline is based on actual responses to AIVL’s online survey concerning incidents of discrimination against drug users, as reported by drug users.
Whilst the film is deliberately over the top in its portrayals the depiction of the in your face absurdity of the responses our “hero” – “demigod” no less – initially receives from the nurse and orderly upon presentation at hospital, in the form of morphine for pain relief, when counterpoised against his treatment following the disclosure by the doctor of his status as a “Massive Junkie”, is unfortunately disturbingly close to reality as recorded in responses to the AIVL online survey.
The hospital setting was deliberately chosen as hospitals were amongst the most highly reported health services where discrimination was experienced. In many of the survey responses the perceived ‘offences’ or ‘actions’ taken against them had consequences, or negative impacts, upon their treatment and overall health outcomes that could only be termed as severe, and too often in stark contrast to the care received by someone in similar circumstances who was seen – or known to be – a drug user; whether past or present.
With this in mind AIVL presents this film with a view to both encouraging those drug users who feel they may have been discriminated against to complete the AIVL online survey, as well as prompting further thought and discussion amongst health care service providers in regard to the issues raised in the film.
To complete the online survey visit the AIVL website at www.aivl.org.au/stories/online-notification-form-for-discriminatory-action/.