No operations for smokers!

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Jim_UK
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No operations for smokers!

Post by Jim_UK » Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:37 pm

In many areas in the UK the local health authorities have said that they will refuse treatment to smokers as they stand less chance of recovering after an operation. They are not confining this to just heart/lung operations but to most operations. Only this week we had the case of one gentleman who was refused an operation on a badly broken ankle as he was a smoker.
Here some more info on current attitudes to smokers http://www.news-medical.net/?id=20771

Now don't get me wrong as I am a non smoker but is this not going a bit far and after all the Health Service is funded by taxes that these folks have also paid. In fact as taxation all goes into one purse they have contributed a damned site more than non smokers with something like £4 out of every £5 per packet being tax.(yes American friends near $20 a packet)

Is this fair?

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Brf
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Re: No operations for smokers!

Post by Brf » Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:43 pm

Jim_UK wrote: all the Health Service is funded by taxes that these folks have also paid. In fact as taxation all goes into one purse they have contributed a damned site more than non smokers with something like £4 out of every £5 per packet being tax.(yes American friends near $20 a packet)
Bah.
As a former smoker (I quite a 2-pack-per-day habit cold-turkey, 22 years ago), I think that all smokers should be taken out and shot.
If you want to compare taxes paid per smoker, you might want to also compare the health costs per smoker.
Include cancer, emphysema, heart disease, second-hand-smoke problems. and dont forget car crashes caused by dropping an ash on ones lap.

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god0fgod
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Re: No operations for smokers!

Post by god0fgod » Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:57 pm

I think it's a good thing. The UK is slowly getting rid of smokers. I predict it will be illegal within about 10 years.

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Techie-Micheal
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Re: No operations for smokers!

Post by Techie-Micheal » Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:58 pm

While I don't think they should not be allowed to have surgery or medical care of one form or another, smokers need to understand the burden they are placing on society. As brf said, extra medical costs (and I'm all for increase in taxes on cigarettes, chew, cigars, snuff, and whatever else there is), nevermind the danger that is second hand smoking, and how you could be threatening someone else's life next to you. Never know when you are sitting next to someone with asthma and/or allergies ...

However, to outright deny them medical care is too far. Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody deserves another chance.
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Re: No operations for smokers!

Post by god0fgod » Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:02 pm

Techie-Micheal wrote: However, to outright deny them medical care is too far. Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody deserves another chance.
Then i'll say you have 2 months to give up or else.

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Re: No operations for smokers!

Post by Techie-Micheal » Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:06 pm

Is that a death threat? I tend to involve the police in such situations. Nevermind the fact you didn't tell me what I was supposed to be giving up.
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Techie-Micheal
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Re: No operations for smokers!

Post by Techie-Micheal » Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:22 pm

;)

See how the wording of your post is important?

But I think you are reading something I never said. To make it extra clear: I don't smoke. Never have, and never plan to. Heck, I have severe asthma and allergies.

And what does compliance with a law have to do with people making mistakes?
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Re: No operations for smokers!

Post by Anon » Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:41 pm

I'm with Techie-Micheal. Smoking is deplorable and should be discouraged wherever possible, but to deny them health care outright is unfair. Raise the cost of surgery where smoking causes obvious complications - like heart and lung, but to restrict ankle surgery to a smoker? Far too excessive.

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Re: No operations for smokers!

Post by god0fgod » Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:14 am

I think it should be restricted to smoking related operations. That would be fair.

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Re: No operations for smokers!

Post by Anaximander Thales » Sat Sep 22, 2007 4:32 pm

Jim_UK wrote: ... refuse treatment ... as they stand less chance of recovering after an operation.
I don't think this is fair at all.

When do the obese get singled out? When do the drug addicts get singled out? What about people who work in coal mines? What about people who have recurring cancer -- due to some other reason than smoking? What about the elderly?

These are all people who stand less of a chance of recovering.

Sure smoking is deplorable, so is over eating -- and I'm not about to say these are addictions, deal with it -- but these people need more help than other people -- if at the very least to get OVER their addiction. From the stand point of a socialized medical system, they've paid taxes into the system. For those that say, 'But there are increased costs to take care of them,' I ask what about those people that never need to go to the hospital and only need the yearly check-up? Should they get there taxes BACK, because they've never needed to use the system?? Should a foreigner not recieve medical treatment because they've never paid into the system? That's a drain on resources as well.

From the stand point of the capitalist medical system (i.e. private insurance). If they've paid their premiums on time for all those years, I don't care what they've done -- they deserve treatment. 30 million people go with out health insurance because they simply can not afford to pay $1500 a month (last price I was quoted for Good private insurance -- and that is base -- price goes up from there). The best I can afford is $300 a month, but that's a $1000 dollar deductible, I pay for everything and get reimbursed from the insurance company. Once I stop being a contractor/student and get a job with a large company, I'm sure I'll have better insurance.

It is a necessity to go to the doctor's to get checked up. If we are going to deny people health care for their personal choices, then we should reward those people that don't make the bad choices. Those that pay taxes for socialized medicine -- give them back all of their taxes back minus the amount they used for regular check-ups. For privatized medicine -- the people that only need regular check-ups only need to pay to the insurance company the amount of their check-ups the next year.

If we are not going to reward good choices, then the only reason to deny a person health services is greed.
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Re: No operations for smokers!

Post by SamG » Sat Sep 22, 2007 6:14 pm

I'm still sorting what I think about this. Here in the States a hot topic (until elections are over) is the "right to health care." I don't think such a right exists (where would it come from, after all?), leaving me with the idea that health care is a commodity. But that runs into difficulties when health care is managed by a state. It's not about the ability to pay, then, but about the authority to distribute.

Yet what political concept in the Western tradition gives a state the authority to withhold health care once the requirement that the individual assume the financial responsibility is removed? What would prevent the state from applying its authority to managing other health-related commodities such as food, clothing, or shelter on an equal footing? Should the healthy get the best food, the best water, the best shelter, regardless of ability to pay?

Should those born with physical limitations receive a lower quality of health care simply because they may not be as productive or live to an average age? Is it remotely wise for a free people to empower the state to make those kinds of evaluations? If free people do such a thing, are they still free people?

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Re: No operations for smokers!

Post by Jim_UK » Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:05 pm

Anaximander Thales wrote: When do the obese get singled out?
Already being done over here by some health authorities. The argument there is that you are less likely to pull through the operation if you are overweight as the anaesthetic can have deadly results.
There are many cases reported in UK papers of folks protesting because they have needed an operation and the surgeons have said come back in 6 months when you have lost 4 stone in weight.

We may be reaching the stage where only the healthy will get treatment. And of course they do not require it. :lol:

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Re: No operations for smokers!

Post by god0fgod » Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:13 pm

This could turn out like when abortions were illegal. We could be having illegal operations by untrained loons.

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Techie-Micheal
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Re: No operations for smokers!

Post by Techie-Micheal » Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:18 pm

Jim_UK wrote:
Anaximander Thales wrote: When do the obese get singled out?
Already being done over here by some health authorities. The argument there is that you are less likely to pull through the operation if you are overweight as the anaesthetic can have deadly results.
So can anesthetists who don't know what they are doing. ;) When I had knee surgery, I heard the anesthetists say he was going to give me the long one instead of the short one (short = 2 hours, long = 4 hours). He gave me too much. It lasted almost 6 hours. Furthermore, I was supposed to be awake (by my request, I wanted to watch my own knee surgery :D), I was awake for a while, then conked out. I woke up once or twice, but it was only until long after I was supposed to be out of the hospital that I woke up and was finally able to leave. By the way, spinal taps suck. @_@

And how are they to judge that the person is overweight or even obese because of their own fault? They'll need tests and workups, and even then, they can't always tell. It could be that the person has a medical condition that is causing their weight problem. Everybody automatically assumes that it is fast food and over eating, but there are people who have medical problems that are causing the weight problem. What then?

So how about people with asthma/allergies? They are generally more at risk at contracting an infection because their immune system is depressed. So what if hospitals decide the patient needs no medical help after all?

So right back to the smokers. I don't think they should be denied the medical help, but I think they should also be made aware that they are the cause of their own problems. As Anon said, even perhaps raising the costs associated with the surgery to compensate for the extra work that may be required. But to say they can't have medical assistance is ludicrous.
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