Some of my Facebook friends have had negative experiences with the medical system, so my link to my last post generated a lively discussion. Keith gave his very considered opinion on why patients who can't speak aren't given writing material (he's a writer too, after all). Here it is, by permission:
Of course they care. They are people, and that is what people do.
But they are also professionals who are paid to do a job. When a health care worker comes into a patient's room, it is to do a specific job (give a treatment, turn the patient, take a reading, etc). They need to get in, do the job, and move on to their next patient. Input from the patient isn't important to the specific job they have to do, and in fact can be a distraction.
I have only seen ICU, DOA, and nursing homes, but it is not the job of anyone in any of those facilities to listen to the patient or to observe the patient. The nurses, CNAs, doctors, and other technicians simply don't have time to wait for every patient they see to communicate via writing. Furthermore, the worker in a room with a patient at any given time is probably not going to be able to help with a specific request. The tech taking blood can't turn a patient or get pain medicine or a bedpan, and if they have to find the person who can that will take even more time.
So, it is easier if the patient can't communicate. Not better for the patient, but easier.
It is a problem with our system in general, but it is no individual worker's fault. They are being paid to do a job and they do it.