My mom was denied service at a hospital in the US back in the 60s because she’d had two miscarriages. When she came in the third time the hospital said she must be aborting and so they would not admit her. My mom had three kids at the time and wanted four. She did not abort. She miscarried. But because she was refused service she almost died from blood loss. (Thankfully she did not die and did have the fourth child.)
Thousands of people in Great Britain are going to be sentenced to pain, debilitation, and possibly death because a person decides that their problems are self-inflicted if the decision that seems likely is made.
The National Health Service in Great Britain is discussing the idea that doctors can and should refuse service to those whose injuries are self-inflicted.
It seems that the National Health Service has issued a “guidance” to physicians permitting them to refuse to treat a patient if they judge that an illness is self-inflicted. It also appears that this directive has already been an undeclared policy for some NHS physicians:
The guidelines will be introduced as a poll shows that one in five doctors admits that he or she has already denied patients treatment because they drink heavily, smoke or are obese.
I’m against this. Of course. You knew that from the title of the blog.
How does the doctor know it’s self-inflicted unless he’s done an exam? Don’t tell me those will be required. I know they aren’t.
There are more potential problems than that, too.
If a person lives with an abuser and won’t leave, are their injuries self-inflicted?
If a person lives with a smoker and they get lung cancer, are their injuries self-inflicted?
If I’m in a car accident because I fell asleep at the wheel, is my injury self-inflicted?
Under some understanding, all those are self-inflicted. So a doctor in Great Britian will soon be able to legally decide not to treat patients with those problems.
If you’ve read this blog much, you know that I’ve had doctors make poor decisions in my healthcare. I know that doctors are people, doing the best they can (we hope), but limited by too little knowledge. And now they’re going to be deciding treatment based on “self-inflicted.”
So if it’s a brain dysfunction, is that self-inflicted? They won’t treat ADHD because my brain did it to me?
This is a runaway train. Unfortunately it is clearly already speeding downhill because the Times says “s a poll shows that one in five doctors admits that he or she has already denied patients treatment because they drink heavily, smoke or are obese.”
So, if the doctor decides that I have a problem because I am obese, he/she won’t treat me. But how do they know I wouldn’t have the problem if I weren’t? They don’t know. And if I am obese because of a metabolism problem, but they never check me, they won’t treat me, even though it’s not “my fault.”
Forget taking your friend to the hospital when they’ve taken too much medicine or gotten carbon monoxide poisoning. They did it to themselves.
Under this treatment regimen attempted suicides won’t be helped, psychiatrically or physically, but will be left to die or not the second time around.
I am appalled that doctors are already making these decisions. I think that it is wrong.
Obviously I am in the minority.
Found on Dr. Tony