ARD 2006 45 min

Deadly ill and written off

ARD TV Jan Schmitt

In Germany people realize more and more, that the public health insurances are failing to provide the excellent medical treatment, Germany once was famous for. As the society, like most of it’s European counterparts, is aging due to demographic changes and the progress in medicine allows us to live longer, the number of employed people who are paying into the system is
shrinking. The public health system in Germany is about to collapse.
People are getting used to cover more and more of the medical bills by themselves, still paying every year more into the bureaucratic system, but everybody still hopes, that the insurance will cover if you find yourself in a life threatening situation.
Think twice. You might find yourself in court, fighting for the payment of the treatment needed, while you’re counting the days left to live.
Julia L., a 38 year old woman who’s liver suffered the many years of medical treatment of a chronic illness, was about to die, when her doctors found a new treatment, that could save her life or prolong it noticeable. After a few treatment sessions, Julia’s insurance denied her further treatments. She had to fundraise on a radio show, but soon was running out of money. While
in court fighting for her treatment, her physical status became worse. Doctors were planning an operation, but she died shortly before, while we were working on this film.
This is a portrait of a courageous woman and her struggle for life.

director: Marcel Kolvenbach edit: Kasia Jankowska executive producer: Jrgen Thebrath