Human Exceptionalism

“Treat Yourselves,” NHS Tells UK Patients!

The meltdown of the UK’s NHS is hitting unbelievable lows. Now, patients with conditions such as asthma and arthritis are being told, “Treat yourselves.” From the story:

Instead of going to hospital or consulting a doctor, patients will be

encouraged to carry out “self care” as the Department of Health (DoH) tries to meet Treasury targets to curb spending. The guidelines could mean people with chronic conditions:

– Monitoring their own heart activity, blood pressure and lung capacity using equipment installed in the home.

-Reporting medical information to doctors remotely by telephone or computer.

– Administering their own drugs and other treatment to “manage pain” and assessing the significance of changes in their condition.

– Using relaxation techniques to relieve stress and avoid “panic” visits to emergency wards.

Gordon Brown hinted at the new policy in a message to NHS staff yesterday, promising a service that “gives all of those with long-term or

chronic conditions the choice of greater support, information and advice, allowing them to play a far more active role in managing their own condition”.

Right. These type of things are always sold as being best for those being deprived of necessary services and support.

The Telegraph editorializes with righteous rage and gets the gist of where things are heading, including not treating patients who lived unapproved lifestyles:

What this seems to amount to in practice are the Government’s rights to refuse treatment, and the patient’s responsibilities to live up to what the state decides are model standards. There is apparently to be a clear warning that those who adhere to unhealthy habits such as smoking or failing to take regular exercise may be refused NHS care.

This tyranny, of course will not be imposed on people whose dangerous lifestyles are not looked upon with askance. Thus, don’t expect HIV or STDs to come under the non-treatment regimen–nor should it. Back to the editorial:

Bizarrely, while more is to be expected of patients by way of self-reliance in terms of taking responsibility for their own treatment–thus helping to defray NHS costs–they will still be forbidden the most obvious form of self-help, which is to pay for some supplemental treatment (which would help even more substantially to reduce NHS costs).

But hey, in the UK they are pouring millions into research into making human/animal cloned embryos. Priorities, after all, are priorities.

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

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