Recent reports from the National institute for health and clinical excellence are pointing to doctors being able to make descisions as to whether or not certain groups of patients should receive treatment, the proposals make no devide between rich and poor, or age or gender. They simply revolve around the fact that those patients suffering from complanits that they have inflicted upon themselves by smoking, drinking heavily, abusing drugs and over-eating, should be denied treatment unless they can prove that they are actively engaged in seeking to change their descructive habits.
What is your opinion on this subject? I am concerned with the outcome of decisions on who could and who could not be treated - what are the obligations to those who would not be treated? Clarity is needed around this and what the 'end-point' would be for such people. It's not only the issues over drug users and smokers. Should other groups be prioritised, for example should children's services have priorty over services for senior citizens. But surely prioritising one group over another is wrong.
Resources used to treat smokers and drug users are resources diverted away from other people. Isn't it everyone's responsibility to look after their own health? Well of course everyone should look after their own health but with regards to drug use, there are some views that it is self-inflicted but other's view it has an illness that requires nhs support. For example, the methadone programme was seen as a way of putting a certain level of resource into prevention of crime and imprisonment, hence saving society more resources down the line.
But what about obese people? Do they lack self control or are they just purely greedy? Obesity could be a symptom of low self esteem and depression, this requires support and treatment! Once help has been received and the obesity treated, the need to spend money on future health problems is alleveated. But once we stop treating the patients that suffer from obesity, drug use and smoking, which other groups are denied help from the nhs. Do we not treat people who particapate in extreme sports, what about skiers, surfers and skateboards? Where to we draw the line?
Do we ban all sports because we may cause ourself injury, which is in fact 'self inflicted'. Injuries can be suffered in any day to day activity, after all what price is can be put on having fun? We must live not exsist! The public are rarely interested until they, or a person they know well, need the NHS - communication should come early as people tend to believe what they read or see in the media. So perhaps better health information is the way forward. The public need to be educated! and must take responsibility for their own health, whenever possible.