Human Exceptionalism

Obamacare: Swedes Say No Surgery Unless You Quit Smoking

Obamacare-along with radical environmentalism–are ultimately about power and government grabbing control over the way we live our personal lives. A case in point tonight out of Sweden, where the head of the Swedish Welfare Board wants doctors to make patients quit smoking as a condition of receiving surgery. From the story:

Surgeons should be able to demand that a patient refrains from smoking in the period before and after an operation, the director-general of the Swedish Welfare Board argued on Friday. The requirement should be just as natural as requiring weight loss or nil by mouth, Lars-Erik Holm argued to the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper in regard to new guidelines which the Welfare Board plans to issue next year. The director-general added that the recommendation was to be made on the proviso that anti-smoking help was made available to the patient.

Holm cited the orthopaedic clinic at Norrland University Hospital in Umeå in northern Sweden as a positive example. The hospital introduce a smoking ban as a condition for all surgery six months ago. The hospital stipulates that a patient should not smoke in the two months before and after a surgical procedure.

Sure, patients do better if they quit smoking. But refusing treatment unless the patient does as he is told? So much for freedom.  What about emergencies?

When asked how the demand for abstinence from smoking conforms with the equal rights of the patient to care, Holm responded that in emergency cases even smokers would be operated on.

Big of them. Doctors have the right and duty to recommend that we live more healthy lifestyles, whether we need treatment or not.  But they and the government should never be allowed to refuse needed care to patients because they have a bad habit.

The moral of the story is simple: Government health care equals government control over your life.  It seems undeniable to me.

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