Wilfully ill?

Christina Odone asks this question this morning in the Telegraph if we should use the resources to treat those who inflict illness on themselves?

She cites the example, of the “fattest woman in Britain”  who weight 40 stones and requires a team of carers to to look after her , and all paid for by the tax payers.

The lady in question said to munch her way through nine chocolate bars everyday,apart from her usual  gigantic meals. She needs people to turn her in bed,wash her ,feed her and attend to her every need.

Similarly Ms Odone has no sympathy for the addicts, those who have had breast augmentations, tattoos which have gone wrong. She does not want her taxes to be used for providing care for them.

I remember once working in the A&E department, a road traffic accident was brought in, the driver was drunk and was in collision with a child who had sustained head injuries. We had them both in adjoining cubicles, and though the child was not that badly hurt and the driver was, we attended to the child first,and no one was that desperate to rush to the drivers side. But we did and have to overcome the resentment we felt as NHS staff,once someone was brought in needing care he/she was our priority, and we were care providers,not someone sitting in judgement. Everyone needed their pain relived to the best of our ability.

Now though as Ms Odone puts it that we have finite resources and  as she says the forecasts of this country’s demographics are alarming, so should we be rationing care to those we consider to have “abused” themselves.

Soi f the same pool of money is used to care for those who have paid taxes all their lives and are now elderly and frail and need our care or our care should be universal for all, and those Ms Odone calls “wilfully ill” should have to pay for it? As she says everyone is free to live unhealthily but they must live with the consequences too.

I wonder what you think?

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