Monday, January 28, 2008

Break out the party poppers...

... at the Department of Health, because they have achieved one of their aims! What aim is that? Why, killing people in the name of equality of course.

A little while back, I wrote about the case of Colette Mills, who wanted to buy a particular cancer drug and was told that, if she did so, she would have to pay for the entirety of her cancer treatment.
The Department of Health said: “Co-payments would risk creating a two-tier health service and be in direct contravention with the principles and values of the NHS.”

Naively, I thought the point of the NHS was to save lives, but I was obviously wrong.

Well, there's been an update.
A WOMAN suffering from breast cancer has run out of time to benefit from a potentially life-extending drug which the National Health Service (NHS) denied her, even though she was prepared to pay for it.

Colette Mills has been told by doctors that in the four months since she asked for the drug the disease has taken such a hold in her body that the cancer will no longer respond to the treatment.

She is the victim of a ruling which states that any patient who wants to pay for additional drugs not prescribed by the NHS should lose their entitlement to their basic NHS cancer care and pay for all their treatment. She was prepared to pay for the drug but not her whole treatment.

Mills, a 58-year-old former nurse, said: “I am just absolutely gutted. I just cannot believe people make these decisions about other people’s lives.

“It wasn’t going to cost them. I was going to pay for it. How can they say this policy is far more important than somebody’s life?

“The NHS has taken this opportunity away from me and, if they are doing it to me, they are doing it to a lot of other women as well.”

Yay! Kill the evil ex-nurse! Equality is all! Freedom is slavery! War is peace!

So, it'll be party time at the DoH as they prove that the principle of equality is far more important than actually ensuring that people don't die. That'll teach people to set a priority on their lives, eh?

What a fucking triumph.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bastards. Put the administrators who made this decision alone in a room with her next of kin for ten minutes.

Repeat as necessary, and ignore any screams for help from said room.

This Government has lost all democratic legitimacy. It's interested only in promoting the ambitions of its own officials; the citizenry are mere serfs who must pay, and pay, and pay--even with their lives.

Of what use is such a government? Totally incompetent, malevolent, filled with liars and thieves....

Anonymous said...

I'm a pharmacist and I definitely dispense anti-cancer medication to patients who cannot get it on the NHS, who are then treated with it using NHS hospitals, staff, etc.

Is it something that varies by PCT? We often have "Plucky Jim needs £3000 a month for Sutent" articles in our local rag. If Jim cannot pay the money for the drugs he almost certainly will not be able to afford the nursing costs too-Strange.

the a&e charge nurse said...

I do not see why 'topping up' treatment conflicts with NHS principles since this measure does not interfere with anybody else's standard of care.

But..........

According to the New England Journal of Medicine (2007) Avastin did NOT improve overall survival rates for breast cancer.
It might be beneficial in cases where the tumor had yet to metastasize (sadly, not the case with Ms Mills).
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/357/26/2666

As well as NICE, the FDA (in the States) voted against approving the drug for use in breast cancer patients.
http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2007/12/05thumbs-down-for-avastin-for-breast-cancer/

Now, as far as I know, the Food & Drug Administration agency is not subject to the malign influence of 'Big Brother and the Party' ?

Remember, like many other toxic anti-cancer agents, Avastin can cause significant unwanted effects, including deep vein thrombosis, angina, kidney failure, hypertension, peripheral oedema, and immunosupression.
http://www.cancerbackup.org.uk/Treatments/Biologicaltherapies/Monoclonalantibodies/Bevacizumab

So, our present state of knowledge suggests that there is no evidence that Avastin improves survival in cases of breast cancer (with mets), but it may cause significant complications in addition to the symptoms of the disease itself.

Anonymous said...

Her mistake was to be English and not Scottish .


Now if she had been one of the wee chosen people the British government wouldv'e been slobbering all over 'er with trainloads of goodies .

Probably got a grant too .

Lee Griffin said...

Yet this also serves as a perfect example of why proponents for a fully privatised healthcare system are so off base.

Rob said...

a&e charge nurse:

The issue wasn't it's effectiveness. If the health fuhrers had refused it because it didn't work, then fair enough. They refused it REGARDLESS of the effectiveness. They refused it through the political dogma of 'equality'.

That is a hypocritical position, however, given that momentum is building amongst the health fuhrers for selective treatment - if you drink, smoke, are overweight, elderly, white (who knows?), then in the future you can just f*ck right off. They use 'equality' when they want to and ditch it when they want to.

Rob said...

Is there an ICD code for death from "socialist dogma"? If not, there certainly should be one. I imagine more people have been killed by Socialism than smallpox, for example.

Anyway, expect more guff from politicians about "tough choices", etc. They make the choice, you have no choice, tough on you.

JuliaM said...

"...then in the future you can just f*ck right off."

Not quite. They'll still extract your NI 'contributions' from you. You just won't benefit from them...

Rob said...

Clearly it is vexing that this woman had any spare money to even offer to pay extra. In an ideal world this would have been confiscated by the state and this problem would never have arisen.

the a&e charge nurse said...

Rob - I do not condone the principle of refusing NHS patients the right to 'top up' medical treatment, no matter how futile, or physically debilitating that treatment may be.

But as you know rationing (in one guise or another) is an inevitable consequence of emerging medical technology - at least until everybody gets immediate access to every conceivable treatment/service, and all at an afforable price.
Needless to say, no such service actually exists.

Different countries limit access in different ways, for example, I'm sure you are aware of the extensive list of 'pre-exisiting conditions' that result in 'automatic decline' if you try to seek health insurance in the USA.

Here is a link, to give you a better idea of the extensive list of illnesses that are (for many ordinary citizens) uninsurable;
http://calhealth.net/california_health_pre_exisiting_condition.htm

According to some reports 137,000 people have died over a 5yr period due to lack of health cover (no, ICD classification, I'm afraid).
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/93539.php

You start off well, Rob, by pointing out the blatant injustice of Ms Mills situation but then you spoil it by lapsing into crass generalisations about 'socialism'.

Sarnia said...

I normally avoid reading stuff like this in the MSM but DID read this story and felt total and absoulte repulsion towards the bloody jobsworths in the NHS who made this decision.

If I had a magic wand and could stand in front of said jobsworths and say "right - I am going to swap your circumstances for hers" I would in a bloody instant.

How can airy-fairy principles come before someone's life?

It beggars belief. May these NHS "managers"; "decision makers" or whatever they call themselves rot in hell.