Joined: Feb 2012
Machine: PR System One REMstar Auto (DS560)
Mask Type: Nasal pillows
Mask Make & Model: ResMed Mirage Swift II
CPAP Pressure: 12.5 - 18.5 cmH20 (auto range)
CPAP Software: SleepyHead
Other Comments: Have diabetes Type II
Location: Illinois, USA
RE: You CAN Adjust your own CPAP Pressure [copied from old forum]
I had a member of another forum ask me to respond to a post on that website, as there were several posters who were promoting the view that changing CPAP pressure might indeed be "illegal".
I can't link to that site, since it's a commercially-run site that sells their own equipment, and it would violate our rules to link to it here, so I copied and pasted my post below for folks to read and comment upon, if you like:
SuperSleeper Wrote:A member of this forum invited me to post a response here on xxxxxxx-dot-com, since I run another Sleep Apnea forum where we have openly distributed CPAP Clinician Manuals free-of-charge for about 4 years or so. Let me say first that I LOVE xxxx-dot-com - I have purchased my previous two CPAP machines from them, including my new S9 AutoSet (love it!) and all my accessories here - and they provide excellent service and super prices. I was introduced to xxxx-dot-com a long time ago by "Ted the Titrator" - many of you may remember him. I wish I could advertise the site on our main forum, but our rules prevent that. I do recommend them all the time in PMs and emails as much as I can.
On with my points... please forgive the introductory governmental treatise, but I feel that it's necessary to lay a foundation for why I believe we are within our rights to change our own CPAP pressure - and I can't argue it properly without building from the ground up...
1. Philosophy of Government: I myself am of the more "libertarian" or nearly "Jeffersonian" political leaning. Meaning, I believe in the Constitution, the unalienable rights of man given to us by our Creator - and that generally the government should get out of my life except where it is Constitutionally charged with protecting life, liberty and property. Our nation (the United States) has deviated tremendously from these ideals, in my opinion, resulting in the current mess with regard to healthcare issues.
2. Higher Laws: Our system of government gives more weight and deference to the "higher powers"; for instance, a lower court's ruling can be overturned by a higher court's ruling. Likewise, a law can be enacted by a lower government (city or county ordinance) which is complete opposition to the US Constitution (higher law) is not a proper or just law. In fact, (especially in extreme cases), I feel it is the duty of citizens to either ignore or disobey a law that is clearly unconstitutional. For instance, if a city were to ban religious worship or public speech, the citizenry should ignore that law, since the US. Constitution (higher power) protects the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech. The higher law should prevail. Notice I didn't say that the Constitution "gives us" our rights. No, it simply protects our rights. Our rights do not come from the US Constitution, but rather, (as the Declaration of Independence states) come from "our Creator".
3. Interaction between Life, Liberty and Property: Those are the three main rights proper government should concentrate on and protect. (the third one often is referred to as the "pursuit of happiness" which stems from property ownership). When government goes outside these three areas, it becomes destructive of the very rights it is charged with protecting.
For instance, I have a right to enjoy my backyard (my property). I can do pretty much whatever I want in my yard, as long as I don't violate the rights of others as I enjoy it. BUT, if I decide to start a huge out-of-control fire in my backyard which ultimate spreads to my neighbors house, I have then violated my neighbor's right to his property (and possibly my neighbor's right to life, if the fire burns his house down with him inside it). Government should only get involved if the free exercise of my own rights violates the life, liberty or property of another citizen.
Likewise, I can't exercise my "free speech" by yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded theater when there is no fire. Why? Because I would be violating the rights of movie-goers to enjoy the property (they paid the theater owner to enjoy the entertainment offered on his property, and have a contractual right to sit there for the duration of the movie).
Okay, I think you get it... now, how does this apply to the right for someone to change his/her own CPAP pressure?
As a United States citizen, I don't plan on complying with an unconstitutional law or one that is in direct opposition to the basic, fundamental rights of man. In fact, I think I have a duty to disobey such a "law" because it is not a just or proper law.
I couldn't care less about a city, county, state or federal law that (by complying with it) risks my health (and possibly my life). Also, I couldn't care less about a law that ignores and violates my right to my own property.
Perhaps a more socialistic-leaning philosopher would argue that "the government is enacting CPAP laws" to "protect me from myself". After all, (the argument goes), "I might hurt myself". So the government, (they say) is "protecting my life". There's only one problem with this: by the government "protecting" my life, they are inadvertently restricting my right for me to use my property as I see fit. They have violated one right to protect another. This is why in the above paragraph, I said that government should only get involved if the free exercise of my own rights violates the life, liberty or property of another citizen. It should not get involved if I am only "violating" my own rights - after all, if I choose to restrict myself, that's my business, as long as I'm not hurting other citizens.
For these reasons, I believe we are within our rights to change our own CPAP pressure (assuming we own the machine). As long as I am not directly harming another person, and as long as there is no immediate threat to the life, liberty or property of another citizen, no government has no right to restrict my freedoms, including telling me that I can't change my own CPAP pressure. To do so would be a violation of my property rights and possibly a violation of my right to life (doing what is best for my own health and safety).
If forced to make a choice between obeying a "lower law" (federal law) and obeying a "higher law" (the laws of God, or as some would say the laws of Nature), I choose to obey the higher law. My right to life and property trumps any man-made law, period, as long as I don't violate someone else's God-given rights. The creation of new federal codes and statutes really does nothing to alter or abolish my fundamental rights.
I don't ask permission from anyone when I choose to exercise my rights, period. That's why on our website and forum, we will continue to freely distribute the information necessary for CPAP users to exercise their own property rights, and that's why I applaud this site when it allows the free sharing of this information. The "fair use" of the copyrighted manuals includes the right to use the machine to it's fullest capacity, as long as the patient has paid for, and owns his/her own CPAP machine outright.
"Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny". - Thomas Jefferson
Apnea Board Administrator
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.