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Ban on surgery for patients who are overweight or who smoke?

(369 Posts)
JessM Sat 03-Sep-16 07:22:16

This idea has been mooted before. However it now is looks like it might begin to happen in a systematic way, due to the government keeping the NHS so desperately short of the money it needs if it is to maintain current levels of service.
It is more expensive and more difficult to operate on people who are overweight, and who smoke. They are likely to be in hospital longer. They are less likely to make a successful recovery and feel the benefits. Is this is sensible way to ration NHS surgical treatment?

Im68Now Sat 03-Sep-16 07:36:15

Why don't we ban people who are old as well, on the bias that they have had their live and supported the nhs through taxes and are not really contributing anymore.

Anya Sat 03-Sep-16 07:44:59

People have to choice about getting older Im68

PRINTMISS Sat 03-Sep-16 07:45:12

We have a neighbour who was told to lose weight before her knee operation, which I thought was a valid request, since being over-weight would not help with the healing process.

mumofmadboys Sat 03-Sep-16 07:59:23

Sometimes losing weight is enough to settle the knee problem without surgery!

DaphneBroon Sat 03-Sep-16 08:01:35

Iam assuming Im68now is being sarcastic? hmm

Grannyknot Sat 03-Sep-16 08:01:37

A friend recently had a gynae op and was advised to lose weight in the run up to the date - she told me the consultant introduced the subject by saying "Can we talk about your weight?"

It would be neglectful not to raise the subject prior to any surgery, surely, if someone was overweight?

Alcohol-dependent patients don't qualify for e.g. liver transplants (and other liver treatments) unless they have been abstinent for 6 months (from memory, when I worked in an alcohol service).

Surely these are clinical issues. Complex ones, but ones that cannot be ignored.

NanaandGrampy Sat 03-Sep-16 08:05:17

So can overweight people get a rebate on their taxes that pay for the NHS? Because it seems unfair that you have to pay for a service you're denied.

Also is it to be a blanket ban - or on a case by case basis?

What about people who are overweight through an unrelated medical issue?

No mention of alcoholics either by the way - that's another group that can be blamed for their own condition ??

And can it be renamed then because its called the National service ( and I take that to mean inclusive nationally) instead it should be the NHS for everyone but fat smokers!

Anya Sat 03-Sep-16 08:16:58

Yes, alcoholics are interesting NanaandGrampy I often wonder who could have had the liver given to George Best.

grannylyn65 Sat 03-Sep-16 08:18:39

Indeed !

thatbags Sat 03-Sep-16 08:19:36

"Restrictions will apply to standard hip and knee replacements".

If there isn't much point, medically, in replacing a knee or hip joint because the patient is enough overweight to defeat the purpose of the operation by continuing to put excess pressure (weight) on the joint thus preventing a new joint from being of much benefit to them, then such a restriction doesn't seem draconian to me.

If there is a shortage funds (I'm talking about fact here, not political reasons for shortage of funds; that's a separate issue), then it would be stupid of health trusts to waste money on pointless treatments, treatments that won't do any good. Or so it seems to me, logically.

I imagine health trusts have to make choices like this all the time about whether a treatment will be of benefit to a patient or whether it would just be a waste of money, time, and professional skill. I don't have a moral objection to that; I reckon it's inevitable in any human situations.

Nor do I have a problem with the idea that, at least to some extent (repeat: some extent ) people are and should be held responsible for their own health. If their behaviour shows that they are not helping themselves in a situation where it's very difficult for anyone else to help them (e.g. eating less), then... shrug.

"Do no harm". It's not the health trusts that will be doing the harm here. If it happens.

Anya Sat 03-Sep-16 08:24:33

Anyway this is nothing new. A friend of mine with acute type 1 diabetes, which she refused to control, lost a leg to the illness. She then developed kidney failure but was refused to be put on the kidney transplant list and had to have dialysed three times a week.

She eventually suffered a heart attack during a dialyses session and died aged 42. That was in 2007.

She was a lovely person but would take no responsibility for herself or her babies, to the extent that her daughter was born with sacral agenises due to her mother's very high blood sugar during pregnancy.

I don't know what the answer is, but it makes me cross that people act like this, and I speak as an ex-smoker and the daughter and sister of alcoholics.

Anniebach Sat 03-Sep-16 08:30:44

Then those who choose to mountaineer, play rugby and football, box etc should be Included in this list of those who should be held responsible for their own health.

People do not choose to be alcoholics , to be obese because their overeating is caused by depression.

thatbags Sat 03-Sep-16 08:35:29

I think that's an over-simplification, ab. Those activities are not automatically damaging or dangerous. It's not reasonable to expect all risks in life to be avoided or eliminated, but if a person has a joint problem because they are overweight, then it makes sense to reduce the cause of the problem rather than apply ineffective treatments.

Im68Now Sat 03-Sep-16 08:39:14

I don't like the way this thread is going, but it all makes very good common sense, do we not help people who won't help themselves or people who do dangerous things.

are we to put the refugees in this list, maybe only help the children.

No I don't like you talking like this, but I will remain just to see how low you can sink.

Anniebach Sat 03-Sep-16 08:42:05

Thatbags, would you have two lists for those who are obese, the glutton and the mentally ill ? So easy to judge isn't it?

Anya Sat 03-Sep-16 08:42:27

Those who play sport are likely to be super fit AB and any injury is likely to be accidental. That's very different from self-inflicted health issues.

Yes, some may be overweight through depression but sometimes the weight leads to depression. Not all people who suffer from depression are overweight by any means.

Alcoholics do not choose to be alcoholics, I agree. But they choose to continue drinking. Except for those who manage to kick the habit and some do.

The question of addiction is very complicated, but I do know that some people do not choose to fight their addiction, whether it be cigarettes, alcohol, food, gambling, etc, they just give in to it while others somehow find the strength to do so.

However if we are simply talking about patients being asked to lose some weight in order to make an operation more viable, then I have no problem with that at all.

Anya Sat 03-Sep-16 08:45:00

No DB she's deadly serious.

Anniebach Sat 03-Sep-16 08:51:56

I think lists of those who are considered worthy of help and those who are not are cruel and dangerous

Im68Now Sat 03-Sep-16 09:03:07

How about list of those that can afford it and those that can't

Anniebach Sat 03-Sep-16 09:05:59

Just thinking the same Im, surely the unemployed should not receive medical treatment

Im68Now Sat 03-Sep-16 09:09:48

Maybe women who have passed childbearing age as well, and traffic wardens

obieone Sat 03-Sep-16 09:16:39

I never thought it would actually happen. Appears I was wrong.

grannypiper Sat 03-Sep-16 09:20:00

Maybe we should add drug addicts to the list.Scotland alone last year spent £56m on methadone for addicts and that does not include taxi delivery to addicts who live more than a mile from a chemist. How much did the rest of the U.k spend ?

Anya Sat 03-Sep-16 09:35:43

What a load of emotive bullshit! grin