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Should smokers get lung transplants/priority treatment?

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    I'm going to first come out and say that I am very much biased on this subject; my friend has CF (cystic fibrosis) and he had been waiting and waiting and waiting to get his lungs, but, at the last minute a smoker with the same tissue type jumped the queue.
    Needless to say, we were all PRETTY DAMN PI**ED OFF.
    Personally, I think smokers are ridiculous. I don't understand why anyone would start smoking when they know the risks. And what annoys me more, is when some (I'm won't say 'all' so I don't offend anyone .. too much) smokers come crawling to the NHS. If you want to kill yourself and make yourself ill, fine, just don't come whining and whinging to me or the NHS. If you get bronchitis or emphysema, man up, shut up and put up.
    Or, alternatively, cough up the money yourself and pay for treatment. Just don't expect me to give you my lungs if I die in an accident.
    Hmm...better not mention that at a med school interview.
    That's actually the main reason I won't join the organ donor list. I'll donate blood and bone marrow, but not organs if it's going to someone who put themselves in that position in the first place.
    Apologies if I've offended anyone (and I reckon I probably have). But I genuinely don't understand why people start smoking and why some don't even try to stop. There are free kits and programmes on the NHS, so why not make use of them? I'd appreciate any smokers POV.

    So, in the words of A level Religious Studies ... Discuss.
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    Same goes for alcoholics, drug users etc..
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    NO they shouldnt AT ALL. Its a personal choice and they know the concequences, I also know someone with CF and people like that should be priority!
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    I'm not sure why the smoker was here given priority but that shouldn't be conflated with the issue of whether smokers should or should not be entitled to NHS treatment.

    Smokers confer net benefits on the NHS budget and on the wider exchequer, they pay massive amounts of tax through their discretionary spending and then have the good grace to die earlier, thus collecting far less in pension than is true of their abstemious peers.

    And how far do you take it? "No A&E for you, you chose to play rugby/tile your roof/drink yourself silly"?
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    (Original post by Flowerii)
    I'm going to first come out and say that I am very much biased on this subject; my friend has CF (cystic fibrosis) and he had been waiting and waiting and waiting to get his lungs, but, at the last minute a smoker with the same tissue type jumped the queue.
    Needless to say, we were all PRETTY DAMN PI**ED OFF.
    Personally, I think smokers are ridiculous. I don't understand why anyone would start smoking when they know the risks. And what annoys me more, is when some (I'm won't say 'all' so I don't offend anyone .. too much) smokers come crawling to the NHS. If you want to kill yourself and make yourself ill, fine, just don't come whining and whinging to me or the NHS. If you get bronchitis or emphysema, man up, shut up and put up.
    Or, alternatively, cough up the money yourself and pay for treatment. Just don't expect me to give you my lungs if I die in an accident.
    Hmm...better not mention that at a med school interview.
    That's actually the main reason I won't join the organ donor list. I'll donate blood and bone marrow, but not organs if it's going to someone who put themselves in that position in the first place.
    Apologies if I've offended anyone (and I reckon I probably have). But I genuinely don't understand why people start smoking and why some don't even try to stop. There are free kits and programmes on the NHS, so why not make use of them? I'd appreciate any smokers POV.

    So, in the words of A level Religious Studies ... Discuss.
    Completely agree, irritating and unfair. I blame a shortage on organ donors to be honest as much as anything else.

    EVERYONE should be donating their organs. Oh and NOT donating your organs is a pretty poor way to get back at them. You should be setting fire to cigarette factories instead
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    When you said "Or, alternatively, cough up the money yourself and pay for treatment." Smokers do, they pay extreme taxes on cigarettes and what not. So really they have coughed up and paid for the treatment.
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    (Original post by Flowerii)
    I'm going to first come out and say that I am very much biased on this subject; my friend has CF (cystic fibrosis) and he had been waiting and waiting and waiting to get his lungs, but, at the last minute a smoker with the same tissue type jumped the queue.
    Needless to say, we were all PRETTY DAMN PI**ED OFF.
    Personally, I think smokers are ridiculous. I don't understand why anyone would start smoking when they know the risks. And what annoys me more, is when some (I'm won't say 'all' so I don't offend anyone .. too much) smokers come crawling to the NHS. If you want to kill yourself and make yourself ill, fine, just don't come whining and whinging to me or the NHS. If you get bronchitis or emphysema, man up, shut up and put up.
    Or, alternatively, cough up the money yourself and pay for treatment. Just don't expect me to give you my lungs if I die in an accident.
    Hmm...better not mention that at a med school interview.
    That's actually the main reason I won't join the organ donor list. I'll donate blood and bone marrow, but not organs if it's going to someone who put themselves in that position in the first place.
    Apologies if I've offended anyone (and I reckon I probably have). But I genuinely don't understand why people start smoking and why some don't even try to stop. There are free kits and programmes on the NHS, so why not make use of them? I'd appreciate any smokers POV.

    So, in the words of A level Religious Studies ... Discuss.
    pun intended?

    I can understand your frustration, you make a fair point.

    I think, the thing is, there are so many factors involved with these things, you couldn't just have one rule, one set order of priorities. Then there's also the argument of who deserves treatment? I mean, if you don't want to treat smokers, you probably don't want to give a liver transplant to an alcoholic. These addictions are considered to be illnesses too. And people do make mistakes, is it up to the NHS to judge who deserves treatment, and who doesn't? And then there's the argument (a weak one I reckon) that says well smokers pay so much excise duty into the NHS, so they should be able to have surgery from the NHS.

    It's a long and complicated debate.
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    Smokers have to have stopped smoking before they get treatment I think. Ditto alcoholics, who have to go sober before liver transplants

    I feel for your friend with CF. CF runs in my family as well, and it's just hard all round I hope that when the next set of lungs becomes available, he is the most urgent case and gets them

    But you should still donate your organs! We need more donors not less!

    Organs should go to the person who needs it the most when it becomes available. If a smoker is closer to death and the need is more urgent, they should get the organ. They have paid in taxes for their treatment, and we shouldn't judge people on their past choices, nor play 'God' and say 'I get to decide who is worthy and who is not'. Who has the authority to do that?? What we can do is determine who is in more medical need of the organ.

    I am signed up as an organ donor. If a smoker gets my lungs, I'd be happy with that, ditto an alcoholic who gets my liver. People deserve a second chance at life. I won't need my organs dead. The living smoker would need them though
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    I really hope your mate with CF gets treated soon. It is absolutely not their fault, whilst the smoker that snatched the lungs? Disgusting and disgraceful.
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    There's a few things you aren't considering. If this smoker was currently still smoking or planning to continue smoking again after the transplant, they would not be given the lungs. Another consideration is how well the donor's organ is compatable with that of the recipient such as blood type or size of organ, the organ may have been more compatable with the ex-smoker.

    I agree however that it "seems" very unfair that someone who increased their risk of their current condition is given a transplant over one who was born with a condition requiring the same transplant.
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    It's pretty unfortunate for your friend and I hope he gets some new lungs soon.

    Your position is an understandable one. But to be honest as harsh as it may seem, there must be a reason why that smoker jumped the queue. Things that you will never know or find out and there could be a multitude of reasons. It's not something that can easily be answered.
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    The smoker was probably in a more life-threatening state than your friend which would explain why they jumped the queue. The fact that they're a smoker is irrelevant, or at least in the eyes of the NHS. Preferential treatment is always going to be given to those who need it most. That's one of the main reasons why a lot of American's (and British people for that) are against our healthcare system.
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    Hehe, realised the pun once I posted ^^

    (Original post by Pride)
    pun intended?

    I can understand your frustration, you make a fair point.

    I think, the thing is, there are so many factors involved with these things, you couldn't just have one rule, one set order of priorities. Then there's also the argument of who deserves treatment? I mean, if you don't want to treat smokers, you probably don't want to give a liver transplant to an alcoholic. These addictions are considered to be illnesses too. And people do make mistakes, is it up to the NHS to judge who deserves treatment, and who doesn't? And then there's the argument (a weak one I reckon) that says well smokers pay so much excise duty into the NHS, so they should be able to have surgery from the NHS.

    It's a long and complicated debate.
    Well, someone's going to Heaven Wish I was that tolerant


    (Original post by SilverArch)
    Smokers have to have stopped smoking before they get treatment I think. Ditto alcoholics, who have to go sober before liver transplants

    I feel for your friend with CF. CF runs in my family as well, and it's just hard all round I hope that when the next set of lungs becomes available, he is the most urgent case and gets them

    But you should still donate your organs! We need more donors not less!

    Organs should go to the person who needs it the most when it becomes available. If a smoker is closer to death and the need is more urgent, they should get the organ. They have paid in taxes for their treatment, and we shouldn't judge people on their past choices, nor play 'God' and say 'I get to decide who is worthy and who is not'. Who has the authority to do that?? What we can do is determine who is in more medical need of the organ.

    I am signed up as an organ donor. If a smoker gets my lungs, I'd be happy with that, ditto an alcoholic who gets my liver. People deserve a second chance at life. I won't need my organs dead. The living smoker would need them though
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    They shouldn't get priority treatment no.

    But the NHS was founded on giving treatment based on need, and smokers put a load of money into the NHS through tax and duty on tobacco.

    If the NHS stops treating smokers where will it stop? People who eat junk food? People who don't exercise? People who have a car accident because they are speeding?
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    (Original post by Flowerii)
    I'm going to first come out and say that I am very much biased on this subject; my friend has CF (cystic fibrosis) and he had been waiting and waiting and waiting to get his lungs, but, at the last minute a smoker with the same tissue type jumped the queue.
    Needless to say, we were all PRETTY DAMN PI**ED OFF.
    Personally, I think smokers are ridiculous. I don't understand why anyone would start smoking when they know the risks. And what annoys me more, is when some (I'm won't say 'all' so I don't offend anyone .. too much) smokers come crawling to the NHS. If you want to kill yourself and make yourself ill, fine, just don't come whining and whinging to me or the NHS. If you get bronchitis or emphysema, man up, shut up and put up.
    Or, alternatively, cough up the money yourself and pay for treatment. Just don't expect me to give you my lungs if I die in an accident.
    Hmm...better not mention that at a med school interview.
    That's actually the main reason I won't join the organ donor list. I'll donate blood and bone marrow, but not organs if it's going to someone who put themselves in that position in the first place.
    Apologies if I've offended anyone (and I reckon I probably have). But I genuinely don't understand why people start smoking and why some don't even try to stop. There are free kits and programmes on the NHS, so why not make use of them? I'd appreciate any smokers POV.

    So, in the words of A level Religious Studies ... Discuss.

    (Original post by kwalsfaa)
    NO they shouldnt AT ALL. Its a personal choice and they know the concequences, I also know someone with CF and people like that should be priority!
    I have CF. I'd like to think I'd have priority over some idiot that choses to damage their own body. But this is the NHS ...
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    (Original post by sarahthegemini)
    I have CF. I'd like to think I'd have priority over some idiot that choses to damage their own body. But this is the NHS ...
    Hope you're doing well!
    If I ever do become a doctor (which seems unlikely if I ever get asked this question at interview) I'll infiltrate my way into the government and flip flop the NHS ¬¬
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    lung cancer patients don't get transplants.

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Updated: May 22, 2012
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