The Corner

UK Medical Discrimination Against Smokers/Obese

Once a medical technocracy governs healthcare–now under construction in the USA–bureaucrats and “experts”eventually  pick ”losers” against whom to discriminate.

Witness the mother of medical technocracies, the UK’s rationed NHS, which is in a bit of a financial pickle at the moment.

How is it coping? Banning some patients from elective surgery, more precisely, smokers and the obese. From the Telegraph story:

Obese people will be routinely refused operations across the NHS, health service bosses have warned, after one authority said it would limit procedures on an unprecedented scale.

Hospital leaders in North Yorkshire said that patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above – as well as smokers – will be barred from most surgery for up to a year amid increasingly desperate measures to plug a funding black hole. The restrictions will apply to standard hip and knee operations.

The decision, described by the Royal College of Surgeons as the “most severe the modern NHS has ever seen”, led to warnings that other trusts will soon be forced to follow suit and rationing will become the norm if the current funding crisis continues.

Please note the bureaucrats they aren’t banning some elective surgeries for all patients, they are allowing all surgeries but only for some patients.

What is the rational basis for this? Why should a fit person receive, say, surgery to repair a hernia but not a smoker? Why should an obese person be denied the correction of a deviated septum that will be provided an athlete?

Put simply, the NHS is picking on people who are disdained and looked down upon by the powers that be and their camp followers. They can pretend it is an incentive to live a healthier lifestyle. But it really is a form of social fascism of the kind seen in the establishment of high school pecking orders.

One thing it isn’t, is freedom.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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