M290 - NHS Anti-discrimination Motion Watch

This discussion is closed.
That Bearded Man
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#41
Report 4 years ago
#41
(Original post by Green_Pink)
Birchington (although he's on the right of our party), Chlorophile and yourself don't seem to be in support whereas the other left-wingers so far are.



For a start, it's not a choice or something easy to deal with for many people. Biologically some people are simply more prone to carrying weight than others, and beyond that there's issues such as addictions to fatty foods and the lack of opportunity to exercise with increasingly hectic work lives and a lack of cheap and accessible community facilities. It's not as easy as saying people need to put more effort into it and we shouldn't deride people for being obese any more than you, as a former Labour Prime Minister, would attack someone for the "life choice" of being unemployed.

Secondly, even if it were​ a choice - why is that any of your business when it doesn't effect your life?
You're not following me here G_P.

Yes, some people are more prone to gaining weight, yes some people have a lack of time/access to exercise, but it still doesn't mean that obesity should be accepted without radical changes to try and lose weight. Even person X, with a BMI of 40, should still be attempting to lose weight and we as a health service should be encouraging him to do so.

Secondly, it does affect us actually. Economically it is costing us via the health sector, or worryingly if other services are cut. It is also arguably encouraging the growth of fast foot outlets and fatty food, meaning it is becoming a more challenging enemy to combat, especially for children. Currently not helped at all by the government's responsibility pact.

For me as well, these are the patients I will be treating in my work. I feel we have a responsibility to ensure that obesity, and all associated risks are limited as much as possible.

So no GP, I'm not deriding people for being obese, but I firmly believe the GP practice knows it's patients better than we do and genuinely believes the patient will comply.
1
Green_Pink
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#42
Report 4 years ago
#42
(Original post by That Bearded Man)
You're not following me here G_P.

Yes, some people are more prone to gaining weight, yes some people have a lack of time/access to exercise, but it still doesn't mean that obesity should be accepted without radical changes to try and lose weight. Even person X, with a BMI of 40, should still be attempting to lose weight and we as a health service should be encouraging him to do so.

Secondly, it does affect us actually. Economically it is costing us via the health sector, or worryingly if other services are cut. It is also arguably encouraging the growth of fast foot outlets and fatty food, meaning it is becoming a more challenging enemy to combat, especially for children. Currently not helped at all by the government's responsibility pact.

For me as well, these are the patients I will be treating in my work. I feel we have a responsibility to ensure that obesity, and all associated risks are limited as much as possible.

So no GP, I'm not deriding people for being obese, but I firmly believe the GP practice knows it's patients better than we do and genuinely believes the patient will comply.
Encouraging? Yes, we should. But it should be just that rather than coercion which is what refusing necessary medical treatment is.

I think a better solution would be to tax unhealthy foods, as is done in many other European countries, and use the revenue to subsidise healthy lifestyles - such as through funding exercise facilities and contributing to healthcare costs. You can also look at helping children by not allowing fast-food stores in close proximity to schools. But the most effective way is always going to be if the parents are educated about obesity, and know how to tackle it themselves. Forcing them to lost weight isn't going to do this because it makes people resent the entire thing, we have a natural resistance to be told what to do even if its for our own benefit - you need to encourage and enable people to make the decision to tackle weight issues themselves, with support from the state as needed.

Let's imagine that I was in the same situation as an unfortunate number of other people my age - unemployed and unfit. Membership at my local authority's gym is £30 a month - which is 12% of my monthly JSA payments before I even consider the cost of transport to get there. I can't afford to spend that much on something like that. What's more, because I can't drive to a large out-of-town store and I can't afford to splash out to buy in bulk and stock up - as well as having no idea about cooking - I end up eating mainly cheap processed meals. The result is, I'm gonna stay fat. Now if my doctor told me I couldn't have surgery - that would actually help me in trying to find work, in exercising without paying for facilities and in walking longer distances to shop around for food - I would be very peeved off, but it wouldn't solve any of the problems. If the doctor instead told me that by the way, there's a scheme available (funded by a tax on these processed foods) that would subsidise my gym membership to encourage me to join as well as basic cooking lessons on how to prepare cheap, healthy meals, it'd be a million times more effective.

I know your not meaning to deride the obese, but it's a valid comparison. Obesity, like unemployment, is not just a cause of poverty but also a product of it. I know you want to help people, but the solution is not the heavy hand of the state telling them to take some responsibility and sort out their problems - it's for us to instead give them the hand up they need to get out of what is another destructive cycle that will only be worsened by the scheme of denying surgical treatments unnecessarily.
0
username1524603
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#43
Report 4 years ago
#43
(Original post by Kittiara)
Smokers have been undergoing routine surgery for many decades, if not longer. Why should it all of a sudden not be okay for a smoker to undergo surgery?

"Purposely wasting their lives away" is emotive language. "Deserve" is rather loaded as well. Who are we to say that someone doesn't deserve something we expect to receive and would be ticked off about should it be taken away from us? Hardly anyone lives a perfectly healthy lifestyle. Plenty of people don't get enough exercise. Most people will eat unhealthy food from time to time. I know I eat the occasional Chinese meal or curry, or I'll have white bread rather than wholemeal, or I'll have a chocolate bar. I know that they're not very good for me.

Every weekend lots of people go out drinking more than they probably should. Some do this nearly every weekend. I don't see the NHS suggesting that those drinkers should be denied surgery. And all around the UK people are enjoying casual intimate relations, and they don't always do so in a very safe manner. I don't see it being suggested that those people, who are arguably placing their health at risk as well, should not be permitted routine surgery. So, really, were should it stop? Going down that route, the amount of people permitted routine surgery without being badgered about their lifestyle would be minute.

Personally, I don't feel that comfortable with that level of interference by a state-supported organisation, and I didn't think that UKIP embraced such interference, either. Especially when you take into consideration that smokers and obese people contribute to the NHS through their taxes. If they are to be denied surgery, should they receive a refund or discount?
The emotive side is suddenly thinking surgery is being denied to save costs. While cost savings will be made the biggest reason for limiting surgery is patient safety. The risks associated with routine surgery are significantly higher in the young, the elderly and those with ill-health. Denying surgery until weight loss has occurred or smoking has ended will only increase the chances of surviving surgery without complications.

You are listing bad examples for unhealthy lifestyles. You cannot compare having the occasional curry or eating white bread instead of wholemeal bread with smoking or obesity due to excessive eating. The examples you give are vital in a healthy balanced diet if consumed in reasonable quantities. Smoking cannot be done in reasonable quantities, similarly, consuming foods high in unsaturated on a regular basis leading to your weight reaching 25 stone is not reasonable.

Actually, the NHS has already suggested charging for sexual health treatment to save costs but the outcome was the measure would put people off seeking treatment creating a bigger problem with STI's. The idea of a problem spreading does not exist with these obese people or smokers. Socially drinking is not placing your life at risk, there are debates about research suggesting a small amount of alcohol intake is beneficial for our bodies, but even here proposals have been made to retrospectively bill people who turn up in A&E for an alcohol related injury.

Using your idea about refunding the taxes of smokers and obese people denied treatment we could refund taxes to parents who send their children to private schools, people who do not have children, people who use private hospitals, people who do not claim any benefits, people who do not use public transport etc... It is a very weak argument to make.
0
Saracen's Fez
  • Forum Helper
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#44
Report 4 years ago
#44
(Original post by Green_Pink)
Birchington (although he's on the right of our party), Chlorophile and yourself don't seem to be in support whereas the other left-wingers so far are.
*Ahem*
0
Green_Pink
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#45
Report 4 years ago
#45
(Original post by O133)
*Ahem*
Sorry, was just scanning through and didn't see your comment as particularly negative.
0
RayApparently
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#46
Report 4 years ago
#46
I don't think this is a clear cut issue. I shall probably abstain unless I see some overwhelmingly strong argument either way.
0
Republic1
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#47
Report 4 years ago
#47
Aye.

InnerTemple's first comment sums up my view perfectly.
0
sdotd
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#48
Report 4 years ago
#48
nay
0
Wellzi
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#49
Report 4 years ago
#49
Stop them from discriminating against smokers, but I have absolutely no sympathy for the morbidly obese. They disgust me quite frankly.
0
Jean-Luc Picard
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#50
Report 4 years ago
#50
(Original post by Wellzi)
Stop them from discriminating against smokers, but I have absolutely no sympathy for the morbidly obese. They disgust me quite frankly.
you disgust me, can I force you to pay for healthcare then?
0
Kittiara
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#51
Report 4 years ago
#51
(Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
The emotive side is suddenly thinking surgery is being denied to save costs. While cost savings will be made the biggest reason for limiting surgery is patient safety. The risks associated with routine surgery are significantly higher in the young, the elderly and those with ill-health. Denying surgery until weight loss has occurred or smoking has ended will only increase the chances of surviving surgery without complications.

You are listing bad examples for unhealthy lifestyles. You cannot compare having the occasional curry or eating white bread instead of wholemeal bread with smoking or obesity due to excessive eating. The examples you give are vital in a healthy balanced diet if consumed in reasonable quantities. Smoking cannot be done in reasonable quantities, similarly, consuming foods high in unsaturated on a regular basis leading to your weight reaching 25 stone is not reasonable.

Actually, the NHS has already suggested charging for sexual health treatment to save costs but the outcome was the measure would put people off seeking treatment creating a bigger problem with STI's. The idea of a problem spreading does not exist with these obese people or smokers. Socially drinking is not placing your life at risk, there are debates about research suggesting a small amount of alcohol intake is beneficial for our bodies, but even here proposals have been made to retrospectively bill people who turn up in A&E for an alcohol related injury.

Using your idea about refunding the taxes of smokers and obese people denied treatment we could refund taxes to parents who send their children to private schools, people who do not have children, people who use private hospitals, people who do not claim any benefits, people who do not use public transport etc... It is a very weak argument to make.
The savings argument is the one made by the Group themselves, not by me. Whilst there may be a higher risk of complications, the reason for this decision is about the money.

Whilst I'll grant you that my example of the occasional treat isn't a good example, my point was that many of us live lifestyles that aren't entirely healthy. Yes, drinking some alcohol may be healthy, but "getting wasted" every weekend isn't. Sitting on one's backside every day in an office and not getting any exercise outside of it isn't.

As for your tax argument - the parents who send their children to private schools could send them to state schools. The people who use private hospitals could use NHS hospitals. The people who do not use public transport could step on the bus tomorrow. No problem. Nobody's stopping them from doing so. It's different when someone's being denied surgery unless they overcome an addiction or lose weight (which, by the way, isn't easy when you need a knee or hip replacement and therefore can't exercise). There is a risk there that if they can't quit, or can't lose weight, they'll keep on being denied something they need. Nobody needs to go to one school over the other, or to use the train whilst they have a car...
0
Kittiara
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#52
Report 4 years ago
#52
(Original post by Wellzi)
Stop them from discriminating against smokers, but I have absolutely no sympathy for the morbidly obese. They disgust me quite frankly.
So, just because someone disgusts you they should be denied something they need? That's a very dangerous line to take for a politician.
0
Kittiara
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#53
Report 4 years ago
#53
(Original post by That Bearded Man)
You're not following me here G_P.

Yes, some people are more prone to gaining weight, yes some people have a lack of time/access to exercise, but it still doesn't mean that obesity should be accepted without radical changes to try and lose weight. Even person X, with a BMI of 40, should still be attempting to lose weight and we as a health service should be encouraging him to do so.

Secondly, it does affect us actually. Economically it is costing us via the health sector, or worryingly if other services are cut. It is also arguably encouraging the growth of fast foot outlets and fatty food, meaning it is becoming a more challenging enemy to combat, especially for children. Currently not helped at all by the government's responsibility pact.

For me as well, these are the patients I will be treating in my work. I feel we have a responsibility to ensure that obesity, and all associated risks are limited as much as possible.

So no GP, I'm not deriding people for being obese, but I firmly believe the GP practice knows it's patients better than we do and genuinely believes the patient will comply.
I fully agree with you that obesity should be tackled. It's a complex issue, though. As I mentioned before, it can be tangled up with mental health problems, and access to mental health care is problematic - plenty of people have to wait for a year or longer for therapy sessions.

I am all for offering support. Counselling sessions, free or discounted access to a gym, access to a dietician, just to name a few examples. I just don't believe that access to healthcare should be used as a bartering tool.

Access to healthcare is not just important, it's crucial. It's crucial for the patient, whose quality of life will be improved, and crucial for society, on a moral as well as on an economic level. Economically, because someone denied access to routine surgery can become economically inactive and therefore require state support. Their health can also deteriorate, which means a greater cost in the longer run. Morally, because singling people out creates inequality and division.

Once we've opened the door to inequality in health care provision, we have undermined the spirit of the NHS, and it sets a precedent. Who will be next, when more savings have to be made?
0
Cryptographic
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#54
Report 4 years ago
#54
Abstain, I understand both sides of the argument, and unless a killer point is made either way, I'm too undecided.
0
Fernand126
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#55
Report 4 years ago
#55
Nay.
One thing we should keep in mind, though, is that this subject involves many variables. If the person really needs the surgery, we obviously shouldn't let them agonise just because they're obese or heavy smokers.
But I do think people who take care of their health situation should be prioritised, to say the least.
Also, nice to see The Bearded Man and I agree on this. Hasn't happened in a while (which is sad).
0
Chlorophile
  • Study Helper
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#56
Report 4 years ago
#56
There seems to be a misunderstanding of the rationale behind some of the opposition to this bill. It's nothing to do with authoritarianism - we're not proposing to ban smoking. It's the simple fact that these people are making a very conscious decision to continue smoking - which they absolutely know is going to have a very negative effect on their health and therefore the healthcare system. Someone compared this to skiing earlier, which I think is an unfair comparison. Skiing itself isn't harmful - accidents do happen but those are accidents rather than harm inherent to skiing. The action of skiing itself is not damaging so by taking part in skiing, you are not intentionally damaging your own health. With smoking, you are - inhaling the concoction of chemicals including tars and carcinogens is objectively damaging.

Now, if people want to destroy their health, I'm not going to stop them. We should have the best possible provision available for these people to stop smoking. As I've said on multiple occasions, I'd completely support more funding to aid the stopping process. But whilst I'd love to have some utopian system where we support everyone no matter what, we have to draw a line with reason. There are millions of people in the UK who genuinely need healthcare because of illnesses that are completely and utterly out of their control, so why should smokers - who intentionally and will full knowledge of the implications of their actions - get the same treatment? That's not fair at all. The point has been raised that pressuring people to stop smoking isn't going to help or that people might be smoking because of mental illness. For the first point, I'd argue that sending the message that the government will finance all of your healthcare regardless of how reckless you are and regardless of how little responsibility for your health you take is equally as unhelpful and if anything, does more harm. For mental health, this will firstly only be the case in a minority of situations but even then, by continuing to smoke, they're only making a bad situation worse. Smoking isn't a good coping strategy, just like alcoholism or drug abuse isn't. Saying "Okay, you're seriously depressed so we'll just let you do whatever the hell you want" is the total opposite of caring about people's welfare. Just like you'd expect the government to stop someone dangerously anorexic from starving themselves to death, allowing people suffering from mental health issues to make their situation worse by smoking isn't good either.

Free healthcare for everyone is wonderful, but people have to take some responsibility for their own welfare. I do not think that sending the message that the government will finance all healthcare no matter what is the best thing for ensuring the general welfare of people in this country. Asking for people who smoke to give a contribution to their treatment isn't authoritarianism, it's rationalism.
0
That Bearded Man
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#57
Report 4 years ago
#57
(Original post by Kittiara)
I fully agree with you that obesity should be tackled. It's a complex issue, though. As I mentioned before, it can be tangled up with mental health problems, and access to mental health care is problematic - plenty of people have to wait for a year or longer for therapy sessions.

I am all for offering support. Counselling sessions, free or discounted access to a gym, access to a dietician, just to name a few examples. I just don't believe that access to healthcare should be used as a bartering tool.

Access to healthcare is not just important, it's crucial. It's crucial for the patient, whose quality of life will be improved, and crucial for society, on a moral as well as on an economic level. Economically, because someone denied access to routine surgery can become economically inactive and therefore require state support. Their health can also deteriorate, which means a greater cost in the longer run. Morally, because singling people out creates inequality and division.

Once we've opened the door to inequality in health care provision, we have undermined the spirit of the NHS, and it sets a precedent. Who will be next, when more savings have to be made?
I also am repulsed by the idea of cutting costs by refusing treatment, but delaying it possibly. As you say, even to go from a purely economic stand point, it makes no sense to completely ban surgery. I suggest using it as an incentive to lose weight if the GP seems it feasible.

I suspect that is changing about mental health, it is now the buzzword. I expect to see awareness rolled out and CBT being unleashed to a wider audience in the next couple of years.

Also, free gym membership is being used in some GP practices already, and again, something that is vital. Promotion of cycling is another.
0
That Bearded Man
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#58
Report 4 years ago
#58
(Original post by Green_Pink)
Encouraging? Yes, we should. But it should be just that rather than coercion which is what refusing necessary medical treatment is.

I think a better solution would be to tax unhealthy foods, as is done in many other European countries, and use the revenue to subsidise healthy lifestyles - such as through funding exercise facilities and contributing to healthcare costs. You can also look at helping children by not allowing fast-food stores in close proximity to schools. But the most effective way is always going to be if the parents are educated about obesity, and know how to tackle it themselves. Forcing them to lost weight isn't going to do this because it makes people resent the entire thing, we have a natural resistance to be told what to do even if its for our own benefit - you need to encourage and enable people to make the decision to tackle weight issues themselves, with support from the state as needed.

Let's imagine that I was in the same situation as an unfortunate number of other people my age - unemployed and unfit. Membership at my local authority's gym is £30 a month - which is 12% of my monthly JSA payments before I even consider the cost of transport to get there. I can't afford to spend that much on something like that. What's more, because I can't drive to a large out-of-town store and I can't afford to splash out to buy in bulk and stock up - as well as having no idea about cooking - I end up eating mainly cheap processed meals. The result is, I'm gonna stay fat. Now if my doctor told me I couldn't have surgery - that would actually help me in trying to find work, in exercising without paying for facilities and in walking longer distances to shop around for food - I would be very peeved off, but it wouldn't solve any of the problems. If the doctor instead told me that by the way, there's a scheme available (funded by a tax on these processed foods) that would subsidise my gym membership to encourage me to join as well as basic cooking lessons on how to prepare cheap, healthy meals, it'd be a million times more effective.

I know your not meaning to deride the obese, but it's a valid comparison. Obesity, like unemployment, is not just a cause of poverty but also a product of it. I know you want to help people, but the solution is not the heavy hand of the state telling them to take some responsibility and sort out their problems - it's for us to instead give them the hand up they need to get out of what is another destructive cycle that will only be worsened by the scheme of denying surgical treatments unnecessarily.
Sorry, my comment didn't actually submit.

I agree completely, except that the government has got in bed with the fast food companies and proposed a voluntary agreement instead. Finland has seen huge results from forced legislation to reduce salt and trans-fats further, however the UK is only achieving mild gains because of protecting industry. Plus, a number of lead researchers boycotted the talks, so arguably we aren't trying hard enough.
Like I said previously, many of those free gym membership schemes do exist, just haven't been fully rolled out. Cooking should be part of school and should be available as classes for everyone. Again, I have faith that the GPS aren't doing this punitively and expecting them to return skinny.
0
Green_Pink
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#59
Report 4 years ago
#59
(Original post by That Bearded Man)
Sorry, my comment didn't actually submit.

I agree completely, except that the government has got in bed with the fast food companies and proposed a voluntary agreement instead. Finland has seen huge results from forced legislation to reduce salt and trans-fats further, however the UK is only achieving mild gains because of protecting industry. Plus, a number of lead researchers boycotted the talks, so arguably we aren't trying hard enough.
Like I said previously, many of those free gym membership schemes do exist, just haven't been fully rolled out. Cooking should be part of school and should be available as classes for everyone. Again, I have faith that the GPS aren't doing this punitively and expecting them to return skinny.
I actually agree with a lot of what you say. There is so much we can do and it's imperative we take that kind of action to combat obesity. But whatever the intention of these GPs - I don't for one second believe this motion is intended as personal criticism of them - it is inherently punitive and it is expected that some will lose weight as a result. It just simply is not the right way to go about it, it sends completely the wrong message about the causes of obesity and it presents a grave danger to the future of universal healthcare. So please, take these ideas into the Government forum and I would sincerely hope we could get behind them and work towards a healthier nation. But don't fall for the panicked response of placing the responsibility squarely on the individual and causing yet more damage to our NHS that has already suffered so much at the hands of recent governments.
0
That Bearded Man
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#60
Report 4 years ago
#60
(Original post by Green_Pink)
I actually agree with a lot of what you say. There is so much we can do and it's imperative we take that kind of action to combat obesity. But whatever the intention of these GPs - I don't for one second believe this motion is intended as personal criticism of them - it is inherently punitive and it is expected that some will lose weight as a result. It just simply is not the right way to go about it, it sends completely the wrong message about the causes of obesity and it presents a grave danger to the future of universal healthcare. So please, take these ideas into the Government forum and I would sincerely hope we could get behind them and work towards a healthier nation. But don't fall for the panicked response of placing the responsibility squarely on the individual and causing yet more damage to our NHS that has already suffered so much at the hands of recent governments.
No, absolutely not. It's popular among the RL government because it means they can back the industry and place all blame on the individuals shoulders. You have highlighted our line of disagreement, "it is expected that some will lose weight as a result" and this is our goal.

Say if 5 people had surgeries delayed because of this, but 1 person lost weight prior to the surgery from the first 6 patients. Wouldn't you still agree this should be deemed a success? Assuming they had someone to fill those slots? Sometimes you just have to take things as they are, rather than judge it by what message it sends out.
0
X
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Have you registered to vote?

Yes! (191)
39.71%
No - but I will (29)
6.03%
No - I don't want to (33)
6.86%
No - I can't vote (<18, not in UK, etc) (228)
47.4%

Watched Threads

View All