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Skewed Reasoning in Bizzaro World

Upon hearing that the UK will be encouraging healthier living in order to keep it's inefficient National Healthcare System financially viable, I figured people would think it's a reasonable step to take. I mean, any healthcare system (private or not) wants to keep costs down as much as possible. This is particularly important for taxpayer-funded systems because the ability to pay higher costs isn't as elastic as it is with private systems.

Of course, this is on a different continent, in a different country, with a totally different mindset:

Plans for patients to sign up to healthier lifestyles in return for NHS care were today branded as patronising and humiliating by patient organisations and public health experts.

Under the plans, set out in a Labour party policy document, patients would be expected to follow their doctors' instructions on healthy eating, taking more exercise or quitting smoking.

But Claire Rayner, president of the Patients' Association, branded the proposal to ask smokers and overweight people to sign healthy lifestyle contracts as "oppressive and obscene".

She said the implication of the plan was to blame people for their own poor health and suggest that they would have to pay more for healthcare because they had brought their illness on themselves.

Ms. Rayner, each person on the plant chooses what to eat, if they want to smoke, and how much to exercise (if at all). Therefore, yes, it IS each person's duty to monitor their own health and they gawddamn better take responsibility if they do things that negatively impact it.

What an idiot. Just as Steven Den Beste is irritated with attempts to water down the term "political prisoner" with people who certainly don't deserve the description, calling this obscene is one of the worst aggrandizements I've heard this year. "Oppressive" this is not. Living in Cuba is oppressive. The UK's tax code is oppressive.

Of course there are health issues outside human control. But the simple things like eating right and treating yourself right are entirely up to each person to decide how to handle. These are the bits harped on the most on our side of the pond, and Jebus knows how badly some of our citizens need the wake up call. The UK government wants the slobs to clean up their act because they are placing a heavier burden on NHS.

Skipping her wild cries of class warfare...

Amanda Sandford, research manager of the anti-smoking organisation Ash, warned that the proposed contracts could prove counter productive.

She said: "While trying to get people to reflect on their individual responsibilities is an interesting idea, I have doubts about trying to make this a contract.

"The last thing we want is sanctions against smokers. Most people attempt to quit two or three times before they do.

"This proposal would risk implying that people are failures if they don't quit first time, which goes against what smoking cessation experts advise."

It's like things flipped around and no longer make sense. You'd think ASH would support every effort it could to restrain smoking...but no, the very idea of individual accountability and responsibility for success AND failure is just too much for their collectivist minds to accept. You can't get anywhere in life without learning from your mistakes. That means you have to fail every now and then. But no, fragile minds need protection from negative emotions.
Geof Rayner, chairman of the UK Public Health Association, said the plan focused too much on the individual without considering the wider social reasons behind poor health.

He said: "We've got to get away from individualising poor health. You don't explain the rise of diabetes by individual lifestyle choices.

I'm no medical professional and I have no experience in the field or any statistics to back me up, but I have a strong hunch that the bulk of a person's health problems can be traced back to choices they've made, or at least attributed in part to their choices. Perhaps if he crouched his criticism in terms of unavoidable environmental factors I'd be more receptive, but I bet an American doctor would laugh in this fool's face. I'd say the more focused and individual attention on a particular person, the better!

His diabetes comment might have made more sense if we weren't talking about the easiest things for people to do to improve their health on their own.

"What will never work is humiliating people into compliance. I'm sure that isn't the intention here but the real issue is why do people feel miserable and not in control of their lives."

Then there are the complaints that this will shame, humiliate, embarass, ridicule, smear, and generally defile the mental state of these people...
A Labour party spokesman said the consultation document was "not about restricting treatment or making treatment conditional".

He said the contract would set out the standards of care patients should receive from the NHS but also remind them of the reciprocal nature of the relationship.

"This type of agreement would not be legally binding. It would take the form of a joint statement of 'mutual intent'," states the document.

...who are making a voluntary choice to improve their health!!

Repeated several times in this and the first document are the statements of officials saying this isn't a mandated thing, that no one will be denied treatment if they refuse to sign the contract. I haven't read the deal myself, but the statements seems pretty unequivocal to me.

John Chisholm, chairman of the British Medical Association's GPs committee, said the plans appeared to threaten the doctor-patient relationship and even to deny people the free care they are entitled to.

"Beam me up, Scotty!"

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I agree examining plans for patients and doctors to agree a formal programme of treatment.

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