In the Orwellian world of government-run health care, words are often used in ways that turn logic on its head.  An illustrative example can be found in Gordon Brown’s use of the term “patient rights.” Per the Daily Mail:

Patients’ rights are to be spelled out in a new NHS constitution, Gordon Brown signalled today.

But there’s a kicker:

The contract could include a “general requirement” for people to keep themselves healthy.

And what happens to those who fail to “keep themselves healthy”?

There were fears last night that this could lead to smokers and people who drink or eat too much being refused treatments.

In fact, such patients are already being denied treatment:

Already around one in ten hospitals refuse to carry out joint replacements for obese patients or orthopaedic surgery on smokers.

In other words, some British patients will have more “rights” than others under Brown’s constitution. Which leads one Daily Mail reader to ask the following:

Are the obese smokers and drinkers going to get tax exemption for being denied treatment?

Nope. The government will continue to vacuum their pockets. How can they get away with that? Because you have no real “rights” under government-run health care

Brown’s “constitution” is nothing more than a way of legitimizing the kind of rationing for which socialized medical systems are notorious. Today’s victims are smokers, drinkers and fat people. Tomorrow it will be someone else.


And speaking of NHS rationing, GruntDoc links to an IBD article that highlights yet another brilliant scheme hatched by Great Britain’s medical bureaucrats. Now they want patients to focus on “self care.” And we’re not talking about people with the sniffles here.  They want people with arthritis and asthmma to treat themselves.

Comments 3

  1. Marc Brown wrote:

    Of course no one in the US is ever refused cover for re-existing conditions, or charged a lot more if they smoke or are obese… Once again you’re falling for spin from the UK’s right wing press. This is nothing more than formalising what happens in practice – do you honestly believe a surgeon should carry out a liver transplant on an alcoholic who intends to carry on drinking?

    And the other point you continue to avoid is that the NHS is public property – and if the public don’t like the way it is being developed they can vote the present government out. All the indications are that a great majority support the idea of more personal responsibility.

    As for the last point about ‘selfcare’ – this is simply about monitoring yourself more, as many already do, such as diabetics and people with asthma (and have you ever heard of inhalers?), and making more use of technology, allowing people to stay at home rather than having to travel. It’s a no brainer.

    Posted 04 Jan 2008 at 6:26 am
  2. drmatt wrote:

    Actually, in this country you can’t get on the liver transplant list if you are an active alcoholic, though you continue to pay taxes for medicare/medicaide. In my communtiy the surgeons flat out refuse to do vascular bypasses on people who continue to smoke, but taxes and premiums remain the same. Rights without responsibilities are not rights.

    Posted 04 Jan 2008 at 8:19 am
  3. Marc Brown wrote:

    ‘Why, yes, a surgeon can, and has, done a liver transplant for an alcoholic. Re: 1995/Mickey Mantle. Add to that David Crosby (CSN&Y) and Jim Nabors.’

    You’re taking about private medicine – anyone in the UK can go privately if they have the cash.

    ‘That’s why you have income tax rates of 70+%’

    The basic income tax rate in the UK is currently 22% and the NHS is a far more cost effective health service than America’s.

    Posted 04 Jan 2008 at 10:57 am

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