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78 months ago

Should people be treated on the NHS for "self inflicted" conditions?

There are many conditions that contribute towards certain illnesses and lots of illnesses that can be prevented or the effects/symptoms reduced by healthy living. Obesity, smoking, alcohol abuse and drug taking are the ones that immediately spring to mind but there are other things that may fall under the "self inflicted" banner: extreme sports, everyday sports, sex involving objects, waxing, tanning, lack of hygiene. I feel it's a very fine line and who's judgement would be used. How would you measure wha was excessive? Would you refuse to treat a diabetic who enjoyed chocolate/excess amounts of carbohydrate or loads of butter on their crumpets? Would you refuse to treat a cancer victim who smokes? What about a cancer victim who smoked twenty years ago? What about a skater who broke their ankle? Or a footballer who broke their ankle? It's a difficult choice, I'm glad I don't have to make it.


  74 months ago
Where do you define self infliction and simple wear and tear through life, sport, activity, etc.?
It is too simplistic and impossible to decide who is deserving and who is not


  78 months ago
The problem you have is how you distinguish between self inflicted injury and self inflicted injury.
When talking about obesity etc, lets be honest but by saying you are not going to treat anyone who suffers an illness related to them not taking care of themselves - you are saying that 90% of the population should be excluded from healthcare.
Anyone who is overweight would be completely excluded which is around what 60% of the population straight off, of those who aren't overweight I would guess that another 30% of the population either smokes or drinks more than is recommended by a doctor.
And most illnesses probably could be tied back to people either not eating correctly, drinking too much alcohol or smoking.
I think its just completely illogical in the current society where most people do things that are not beneficial for their health.


  78 months ago
I believe that all should be treated regardless as the NHS is for everybody and where would you draw the line? I agree with all the points that you have made and it annoys me when people say that smokers shouldn't be treated because they have brought it on themselves; what about the thousands that the government makes from smokers by raking in the tax they levy on cigs?


  78 months ago
As others have said, most cancers can't be pinned down to a single cause, so it's impossible to say they were caused by poor lifestyle. Non smokers can get lung cancer too, so it is possible for a smoker to get it by bad luck that has nothing to do with them smoking (unlikely, true, but possible).
As for sports injuries, sports should be encouraged as the exercise improves your general health and makes you less likely to become overweight and suffer other health problems. If the price for this is few sports injuries, then that's a price worth paying.
One type of self-inflicted injury that no-one has yet mentioned is self harming when under the influence of a mental disorder. I've cut myself three times in the past when feeling very low and I'm glad the NHS don't deny treatment for those sorts of injuries. I'd view them as a side effect of the mental disorder anyway.


  78 months ago
Of course they should be treated. Should only the people who have paid national insurance be able to have care. Lots of people dont pay in but get treatment. Some of those who have paid most in may have self inflicted ilnesses as you call them. Others who have not paid in also may have. If you start to choose who can and cannot be treated surely it should be those who have paid for the NHS. I believe that everyone who needs treatment should have it. Once you start picking and choosing then it becomes unfair.


  78 months ago
Nobody should be denied treatment for any illnesses or injuries. Who's to say what causes diseases; cancers aren't only caused by smoking or sunbathing. Diabetics are allowed the odd treat. Should we say that the person who is run over by a bus shouldn't have been a pedestrian because they knew the risks? Life includes illnesses and disease and it should all be treated without prejudice.


  78 months ago
Yes, of course they should. The majority of people in this country are, or have contributed to the NHS via their National Insurance contributions. And that is what it is - an insurance against things going wrong, no matter what the cause. It would be inhuman to deny someone medical treatment because they were overweight, an alcoholic, extreme sports enthusiast or whatever.


  78 months ago
Of course you treat them, what are you going to do, go American and leave people to die in their homes of treatable illnesses? It's inhuman to do it, that's why there are charity hospitals in the states, but for the most part people are routinely denied transplants because they can't afford the immuno-suppressive drugs they'll need the rest of their lives, even children die because of it. People will always be a bit weak and a bit stupid, it's just the way we are, and there's not a lot we can do to change it. When hubby was in hospital being given chemo for his brain tumour I'd show up and have to walk past cancer patients sitting outside having a smoke. We can't stop living our lives, and what do we pay our NHS fees for if not coverage? Should we all just pay the money and stay inside and not move so all the managers can have shiny new cars? No, we live our lives, we die our deaths, and if we're very lucky we have a few good years inbetween.

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