Thursday, December 08, 2005

Access to the NHS ? Only if you're healthy !

Here we go again. The NHS advisory board has said that patients could be denied treatment if their lifestyle makes it ineffective (for instance if a smoker with asthma doesn't stop smoking) but that treatment should not be denied just because their condition was self-induced (such as if a person has diabetes or is obese as a result of over-eating). It's interesting to read people's comments on this fracturing issue: a large number of people clearly state that the NHS should refuse to provide treatment for people with illnesses derived from drinking, smoking or weight problems. Why not, then, let drinkers, smokers and overeaters off the hook as far as paying taxes goes ? Why not, then, make the list a little broader and include illnesses derived from fitness workouts (heart attacks, brain aneurysms), jogging (busted knee-joints, heart attacks), rock climbing (broken arms/legs), flying in airplanes (thrombosis), going out to discos (hearing problems), working too much(depression, high-blood pressure, heart attacks), eating too little by choice (anorexia, anemia, tuberculosis), eating red meat (high blood pressure, heart attacks), wearing makeup, colouring your hair or getting piercings done (skin rashes, allergies, infections) and so on ?

1 comment:

leftwing hetreosexual said...

You are absolutely right!
Still, there could be two different problems:
a) deny treatment because of lifestyle
b) deny continuation of treatment because the patient would not alter his behaviour to match treatment
But it is perhaps too risky: if you start with b) you'll end up in a). And what an opportunity for insurance companies to avoid paying