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Thread: Should fat people and smokers be denied medical treatment .

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    Senior Member pantsonfire321@aol.com's Avatar
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    Should fat people and smokers be denied medical treatment .

    I read an article in one of the newspapers the other day about this and thought it would be a good topic to bring here; so, should fat people and smokers be denied medical treatment .

    Personally i think it's a slippery slope and wrong, if you deny fat people because they've made themselves fat what about Anorexics and junkies . I would also say imo, that treating someone whos a smoker and needs a heart operation would be far more important than say a sex change - again my opinion . I understand the health risks attached but i still think it's a cop out . The NHS here is struggling - we all know that so, why are we treating every tom dick and harry that comes to england ...why can't immigrants take out insurance like we have to when we go to another country .



    What do you guys think ????
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    Re: Should fat people and smokers be denied medical treatment .

    Absolutely not. A doctor's responsibility is to treat people's ailments and not to punish people for what they think are poor health choices. If you did this to smokers and the overweight you could end up extending it to people who don't take cholesterol pills or people who don't wear seatbelts/helmets, or people who sleep around....soon hardly anyone would warrant treatment. In the case of overweight people, they have an eating disorder just like anorexics/bulimics do. Smokers are foolish to have started, but they have an addiction to a powerful drug. How can you hold up the Hippocratic Oath ("first do no harm") when you deny patients for these reasons? There should be no prejudice against any patient who needs help.

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    Senior Member pantsonfire321@aol.com's Avatar
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    Re: Should fat people and smokers be denied medical treatment .

    Quote Originally Posted by RedGlitter View Post
    Absolutely not. A doctor's responsibility is to treat people's ailments and not to punish people for what they think are poor health choices. If you did this to smokers and the overweight you could end up extending it to people who don't take cholesterol pills or people who don't wear seatbelts/helmets, or people who sleep around....soon hardly anyone would warrant treatment. In the case of overweight people, they have an eating disorder just like anorexics/bulimics do. Smokers are foolish to have started, but they have an addiction to a powerful drug. How can you hold up the Hippocratic Oath ("first do no harm") when you deny patients for these reasons? There should be no prejudice against any patient who needs help.
    Red, it is happening already.
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    Re: Should fat people and smokers be denied medical treatment .

    Quote Originally Posted by pantsonfire321@aol.com View Post
    Red, it is happening already.
    In the UK? You mean doctors are really refusing to treat people for those reasons? That's crazy! I think it's fearful wrong to cherrypick who will and won't get medical help.
    How do they get away with that??

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    High Priestess of Cardis theia's Avatar
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    Re: Should fat people and smokers be denied medical treatment .

    I'm going along with what Red posted, addictions can come in a multitude of guises, not just the obvious ones like smoking, drugs, over eating and alcohol. What about the addictions to power, money, control or work that can adversely affect one's own and another's health? Where do we draw the line if forced to choose whom we will treat medically? Is one addiction better than another?
    Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answers...Rainer Maria Rilke

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    Senior Member pantsonfire321@aol.com's Avatar
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    Re: Should fat people and smokers be denied medical treatment .

    It all boils down to money . I've only heard them talk about smokers and obese patients but what about alcoholics and junkies, their a drain on resources too.
    Can go from 0 - to bitch in 3.0 seconds .



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    Senior Member AussiePam's Avatar
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    Re: Should fat people and smokers be denied medical treatment .

    I wonder if any of this relates to the enormous increases in litigation. Liability for the outcome of surgical procedures. Insurance etc. Extreme, heavy smokers may have serious problems with anaesthesia. Treating very obese patients probably also carries much higher risks.

    Some Australian doctors are refusing to deliver babies, for liability reasons.

    Of course it's just fiction, but in an old House episode I watched last night, a young woman would not have been given a place on the heart transplant list if it had been recorded that she had been bulimic. With very limited spare heart resources, she would presumably have been "less worthy" for receiving a second chance.

    It's a difficult question. Series of questions. Do you make more effort treating old people than young people? Where do you discontinue treatment, as no longer financially viable? What about the massive expense of caring for very premmie babies?

    In the straining public health systems, money and politics and social issues are going to come into it, and there must be a lot of doctors agonising over their hypocratic oath.

    Footnote:
    Triage for first aid in a situation where there are a number of serious casualties. You treat them in order of likelihood of a good outcome.

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    Re: Should fat people and smokers be denied medical treatment .

    Quote Originally Posted by AussiePam View Post
    Of course it's just fiction, but in an old House episode I watched last night, a young woman would not have been given a place on the heart transplant list if it had been recorded that she had been bulimic. With very limited spare heart resources, she would presumably have been "less worthy" for receiving a second chance.
    Sorry to hijack the thread but I've been watching a lot of this series in the last month. The Hallmark channel shows the current episodes and a couple of other channels show repeats. What a fantastic show! I saw the episode you mention, Pam, and like that he bends the rules in order to save his patients. The only episode I didn't agree with was the time and money they spent saving a potential suicide's life - just to put him back on death row! That would surely never happen in real life, in fact I imagine no doctor would go to the trouble House goes to in every episode, they simply wouldn't have the time or the resources! The programmes make for some great discussions though!
    End of hijack!

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    Re: Should fat people and smokers be denied medical treatment .

    "Denied", absolutely, posivitively NOT, no reason to! Most if not all special cases here in USA pay special hazzard rates to offset any exceedingly excessive unusual medical costs!
    Cars
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    Re: Should fat people and smokers be denied medical treatment .

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    Seems to me that the tax money I pay for my cigarettes goes into the State's medical fund which provides care to the poor. (At least that is what they tell us every time they raise taxes on cigarettes.)

    I smoke between 1 and 2 packs a day. I haven't been to the doctor in 2 years and that was NOT for a smoking related illness. In the last 18 months I have missed 0 days of work due to illness.

    Sad fact is, I am more likely to be hit and killed by a drunk driver then a smoking related illness.
    Sandi


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