December 8, 2011

Backpack stolen containing insulin

by

It’s a question you wouldn’t think to ask but in the case of Thomas Napieralski, a 23 year old who lives with Type 1 diabetes, it’s a question you are forced to anguish over. Is the theft of insulin considered a life-threatening crime?

On November 17, someone stole Tommy’s backpack containing his insulin. This situation ordinarily would cause problems but in this case – Tommy doesn’t have insurance. The $3,000 a year he pays for insulin comes out of his own pocket.   

Aside from the outrage of being victimized by the theft, knowing that you are without the life-sustaining insulin is a dire devastation.  Tommy said, “It was almost a mental thing. … I had to limit how much I could eat until I could get another bottle.”

Here’s my thought on theft, in general: it’s thoughtless. What’s even more devoid of thought is the punishment enforced to dissuade this type of crime from being committed.

Some of the criteria used to penalize the offender includes: who it was stolen from (government), the value of the item(s) stolen, relationship between thief and victim (employer vs. employee, spouses, person with diabetes vs. ignorant punk).

The crime was carried out against a person with Type 1 diabetes, their vital medication was stolen, and the offender has no relationship to the victim. The person who committed this crime was a reckless hoodlum who cares not what he stole within that backpack.

Let the punishment fit the crime.