Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Destroy the medical profession

As regular readers will know, your humble Devil is no fan of the medical profession: sentences such as , and "when will these fucking medical types shut their fucking cakeholes and get on with their job of patching people up?" might have led viewers to conclusion that I think that doctors are a total bunch of fuckers who should be beaten to death with their own stethoscopes.

And said viewers would be correct. But it's nice to see my view validated by Sam Bowman at the Adam Smith Institute.
"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public"—Adam Smith
As usual, Adam Smith was right. Today I can think of no trade about which the above is more true than the medical profession. I don’t just mean doctors’ use of occupational licensure laws to keep their prices artificially inflated. Politically active groups of doctors are possibly the greatest single threat to personal freedom that there is in the UK today. Their motivation isn't necessarily their wallets, but their egos. Bullies like to use the state to push people around so they feel powerful.
As I outlined in my commentary on Working Class Patients And The Medial Establishment: Self-help in Britain from the mid-nineteeth century to 1948, David Green states very clearly that the medical profession are actually motivated by both "their wallets" and "their egos".
The organised medical profession had long resented the dominance of the medical consumer, and particularly resented working-class control of medical "gentlemen". The BMA were equally anxious to obtain more pay and, above all, higher status for doctors.
As regular readers will know, the combination of the BMA and the private insurance companies led directly to the destruction of the Friendly Societies—social corporations that provided primary care and unemployment benefits for the working classes—through the lobbying of MPs involved in the 1911 National Insurance Act. [Emphasis mine.]
The essence of working-class social insurance was democratic self-organisation: amendments to the Bill obtained by the BMA and the Combine [the private insurers' trade association] undermined it. Doctors' pay had been kept within limits that ordinary maual workers could afford: under pressure, the government doubled doctors' incomes and financed this transfer of wealth from insured workers to the medical profession by means of a regressive poll tax, flat-rate National Insurance Contributions.
I have said it many times, and I shall say it again—doctors are not your friends and the medical profession couldn't give two shits for anything other than big, fat pay-cheques. And, as I said back in June 2010, ...
...whilst the doctors continue to run our medical services, and continue to bribe, bully and poison our rulers—and whilst our rulers still have the power to force us to obey these bastards—we will never be free...
They medical profession are a bunch of thugs, driven by self-importance, conceit and greed, whose only motivation for existence is to bleed you dry and then present you—or someone near to you—a massive bill. But, they are also suffer from an almost incredible arrogance in that they believe their every prognostication to be gospel, every utterance to be truth and every opinion to be law. They are cunts of the very first water.

So, since we have now established this principle, let us see what has driven the ASI's Sam Bowman to attack the bastards on this occasion.
There’s a sad example of this in today’s call in the Lancet, a medical journal that is often used as a political mouthpiece by campaigning doctors, for the government to introduce a “fat tax” to curb obesity.

Of course, the proposal is utterly specious. It's pretty dubious whether the "obesity epidemic" claims are true or not. And which diet plan should be implemented? Is it bacon, sugar, bread or something else that makes us fat? Will political parties of this fat tax utopian future be divided between the Low-Carb Party and the Low-Fat Party? And what if fat people's early mortality rates mean that they actually save the government money in pension and care home bills?

The doctors err even by their own logic. As Will Wilkinson has pointed out, if fat taxers thought things through, they would favour a tax on fat people themselves, not on the food they eat. Taxing food punishes people who exercise so that they can enjoy Big Macs, but not people who are so lazy that they balloon out while eating a balanced diet.
Of course, to the average doctor—who has coddled and protected, in importance and financially, by the state for a century—corporations must automatically be evil (otherwise they wouldn't actually sell things, right? They'd do it out of charidee); not only that, but the Ordinary People, the hoi polloi, are too stupid and bovine to make their own choices.

Of course, this should be no business of the doctors': their job should be to shut the fuck up and do their job of patching people up (and charging a suitable fee, of course). And in a free society, that is precisely what would happen.

However, we do not live in a free society: we live in a Welfare State*. And in the Welfare State (and particularly this one), the health service is administered by the state and the doctors are the gate-keepers. It is the hoi polloi, who pay for this health service, of course, but—since we are given no choice about it—we are (as I have said many times) in hock to the state.
The state is the provider of a service: the National Health Service in this case. Because the state provides and "pays" (through taxes, of course) for this service, it has the power to dictate to the population.

Obesity costs money over and above a "normal" person's treatment. Even if the obese person has private medical insurance, they cannot opt out of the NHS because they are forced to contribute to the NHS through their NICs. And, in fact, because of various laws—an ambulance can only take you to a state A&E, all GPs are employed by the state—no one can opt out of the state-provided system entirely.

In this way, everyone is in debt to the state. And as long as everyone is in debt to the state, the state, fundamentally, has the right to tell the population how to behave. And this debt can never actually be discharged: you are in debt to—and thus subject to the whim of—the state from the moment that you are born until the moment that you die.

And, remember, there is no actual contract to sign (or not sign) so the government can—and does—keep on shifting the terms of this agreement as and when it likes. It's a little like Lando Calrissian's bargain with Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back: "This deal just gets worse..."

As such, no one in this country owns their own body; no one in this country owns their own life. Everyone is effectively in hock to the state because you can never, ever opt out of state provision.
Once again, it seems that Sam Bowman agrees with me on this...
The justification for pushing people around like this is the NHS. Shouldn’t people have to pay for their own illnesses? Well, yes – that’s how personal responsibility works. But having an NHS removes the personal responsibility, and artificial attempts to inject it into the system are doubly illiberal and wrong.

The government (and the electorate, for that matter) forces people to be in the NHS. You have no choice in the matter, and you can’t opt out of it. Jamie Whyte put it well: "first the do-gooders conjure up the external costs by insisting that no one should have to pay for his own medical care, then they tell us that they must interfere with behavior that damages our health because it imposes costs on others." This is perverse and illiberal.
Yes, and the doctors—and their spiritual buddies, the politicians—love it: this way, they can all feel important, and all line their pockets.
The tax would only affect the poor—rich people's spending habits wouldn't be dented. How easy it must be for doctors to pontificate about the need for a fat tax, knowing that such a tax would hardly affect them at all.
Indeed, what with doctors having to take on the treatment of all of these extra obese people, surely it must be time for another contract "negotiation"**—trebles all round!
This creepy, controlling paternalism has plenty of fans in politics on both sides of the partisan divide. Doctors are the politicians' enablers, lending the weight of their “expertise” to the nanny instinct of the political class in exchange for the feeling of being important.
Which is precisely the same relationship that the government has with Fake Charities—many of which are also run by doctors and their creepy little acolytes.
No amount of expertise – medical or otherwise – should give somebody the right to interfere with another adult’s choices. Nor should democracy be used as an excuse to violate the sovereignty of the individual. If fat people are costing the NHS money, that's a mark against having an NHS, not against having fat people.
Quite. And all of this relates to the conclusion of my June 2010 post linked to above...
Most of you will have seen—in the newspapers and, in particular, on blogs written by members of the medical profession—claims that doctors should be allowed to run the NHS, because they know what they are doing. Of course they do: they want to run your lives and giving the medicos control of the NHS would give them the ultimate tool to do so. That would ensure a much "higher status for doctors" and the edict would be simple—obey us or be left to die.

If you doubt this, just take a long at some of the news stories around, especially as regards the medical profession's urgings to deny healthcare to smokers, drinkers and fat people. True, the BMA tend to side with Fake Charities more than the insurance companies these days, but the process is the same; government-funded "medical advisers"—no less effective or poisonous than Grima Wormtongue—whisper into politicians' rights ears, whilst government-funded "charities" bolster the message from the left.

Our New Coalition Overlords™ promised to take on the vested interests but, narrow-minded as they are, they seem to mean only the bankers and other huge commercial interests whose establishment status flows from the rules and regulations imposed by government.

But no mention has been made of those other vested interests: those—like the medical profession—whose power, privilege and money is propped up by the government and funded by the blood of taxpayers. There are so many of them that a stupid person might find it difficult to know where to start.

But, actually, it is really very simple: if we want decent welfare for all, affordable medical care and freedom, we need to return to "democratic self-organisation". And if we wish to do that, we have to smash and utterly destroy the organised medical profession, and grind it into the dust.

We need to return these arrogant doctors, and their associated scum (a category in which I include politicians), to beings servants of the consumer, not the masters. But whilst the doctors continue to run our medical services, and continue to bribe, bully and poison our rulers—and whilst our rulers still have the power to force us to obey these bastards—we will never be free, and we will never have a proper, functioning society.

To paraphrase P J O'Rourke, when the legislators can decide what can be bought and sold, the first thing for sale are the legislators. And the medical profession bought them a hundred years ago.

Destroy the power of the BMA and the medical profession and we can begin to struggle towards freedom. Leave them in place—poisoning public debate and raping the freedom of ordinary people in order to gain money and prestige—and we will always be slaves.
All of the above continues to be true—nothing has changed. So every time that you see a doctor warning of some dire consequence of anyone's lifestyle, don't condemn their victims—that is the precise reaction that these fuckers want from you, the better to divide and conquer.

Imagine, instead, how much you would like these bastards to stop hectoring you and bossing you about—and think, therefore, about how best to damage and destroy the entire medical profession. Think about how best to humble the arrogant, dictatorial doctors who urge the government to ban and tax your pleasures, how to put the lazy, hoity-toity nurses who starve their patients to death back into their proper place and, most important of all, how to blast apart all of their evil bloody trade unions.

And try not to laugh too much whilst you do so...

* Not for much longer, of course, because the Welfare State is utterly bankrupt across the world.

** Where the doctors tell the politicians how much cash they want and how little actual doctoring they want to do, and the politicians agree. After all, it's not their money, eh?


37 comments:

Jerry Nelson said...

Speaking as a doctor with 20 years in the NHS, all I can say is that you are completely, utterly, and undeniably right.

The pomposity of my profession, and its susceptibility to cant, groupthink, sophistry and downright fraud knows no bounds.

Anonymous said...

I've had a bit of an epiphany in this area myself: the doctor doth protest too much - after all, where would he be without sick people? I've recently realised that doctors don't actually want to cure people of their illnesses. If they did, few people would need to visit doctors and they'd all be forced to work for a living at something else. Can't have that obviously.

When you visit the doctor and show them whatever pustulating apendage is troubling you, what does he do? He gives you something to treat the symptoms, i.e. your suppurating genitals or whatever. The rampant skin complaint does clear up but it then returns, periodically, chronically, for life, necessitating regular visits to the GP and handing over piles of cash for repeat prescriptions in order to avoid being declared a health hazard and menace to public health. What the doctor absolutely does not do is attempt to determine what is causing your dermatological eruptions. Why would he? What's in it for him?

What if, too, being fat was simply a symptom of some easily treatable illness and the doctors are either too thick, or more likely, too uninterested to actually try and find the underlying cause of your illness, treat that and rejoice when you lose weight and take up ballroom dancing once your sores have abated? I believe that being overweight is actually a symptom of an underlying condition which is easily treated and, what's more, the medical profession know it.

Fortunately, however, the hegemony of the medics is beginning to founder now that the internet provides access to medical information for all - at least those of us who've managed to learn to read despite attempts to dumb education down to the point where the few people who can do that are the chosen few who make it to medical, law or accountancy school. The golden rule now is don't believe a bloody word your GP tells you. His job is to foist noxious unctions from the pharmaceutical companies on you, not to cure your illnesses. For an experiment, the next time you take your pox down to the surgery for a magic potion, make notes of what the doctor tells you and then google them and the concoctions he gives you when you get home. Read everything you can find and follow the trail of symptoms back to potential causes. You will almost certainly find that your symptoms can be traced back to physical causes your GP never mentions but which you can manage yourself, e.g. stop eating certain things such a gluten containing breads, take a vitamin/mineral or stop using some shower gel with some noxious chemical in it. 99% of what ails you more than likely stems from some nutritional deficit and/or the use of some substance which contains an allergen that brings you out in suppurating boils. Go back to the GP, tell him what you've found and demand that he helps you get to the bottom of your illness and don't accept anything that just deals with the symptoms. Make the bastard work for his £100k+.

These guys are worse than the Mafia - way more ruthless and deadly. It's way past time to sort them out.

Michael Fowke said...

And their receptionists are even worse!

Anonymous said...

"I believe that being overweight is actually a symptom of an underlying condition which is easily treated and, what's more, the medical profession know it."

A doctor discovers the cure for obesity. Do they either:

a) Patent and sell it, thereby becoming richer than God Himself

or b) Keep it quiet to keep the never-ending stream of fatties in their surgery every day for the rest of their career?

Tough one.

Doctors may be cunts but they're not stupid cunts.

Anonymous said...

But ...but...but...at some point won't you be compelled to use the NHS? Do you have an assumed name you can use? Aren't you a teeny bit concerned about medical 'error' ?

Or perhaps you are one of those people who believe waiters never spit in the dinner of an awkward customer?

*worried*

Catinthehat

Anonymous said...

Moderately overweight people live longest. Very obese people have a slightly (that's right SLIGHTYLY) reduced life expectancy and underweight people die young. These are the facts, easily checkable in the literature.
When was the last time you saw a thin doctor?
The so called obesity epidemic is about social class. In the past the rich were fat and the poor were half starved and worked like slaves for a pittance. Now everyone can afford to eat well the rich want to be different, so being thin has become "good" and having a bit of padding has become "evil".

Anonymous said...

This whole concept of "fat tax" is just ridiculous. It's not just the bullying eugenic nature of it (as if that wasn't enough!!) but gym rats such as myself would be classified as "obese" using their oh-so-reliable BMI measure, we'd be punished for eating the huge amounts of food we get through to fuel our regular workouts, and they would undoubtedly tax things like meat and oil whilst leaving "healthy" low fat potatoes and rice free of tax, despite the fact that many gym-fiends follow low-carb/high fat & protein ketogenic diets to get lean.

Oh yeah, and let's not forget their war against supplements (as advocated by their paymasters in Big Pharma. Oh yeah, it's not just smokers they're after).

So what's the alternative to avoid this tax? Stop working out and eat "empty" calories like pasta and bread? Well done, morons!!

Nah, I'll carry on working out. It will make slamming their wobbling, be-jowelled faces through the wall far more effective....

LJH said...

Bravo DK : as long as we have an NHS they own us. I've lived and worked in a system where hospitals competed cleanliness- and nursing staff- wise for specialists to base themselves in. Specialists tried to impress GPs for referrals and the GPs who did best had good personal as well as clinical skills. Of course some doctors didn't cut it and became drug reps or insurance screeners. Although not without flaws, it was leaner, faster, with better outcomes as well as cheaper. The doctors had to respect patients or lose them and their reputations, unlike this lot who think they demigods.

Anonymous said...

Re. the cure for obesity. The problem with what I suspect is the cause and the cure is that relatively few people would believe it. It is actually fairly straightforward: vitamin and mineral deficiency caused either by a poor diet or a condition which makes it difficult to absorb vitamins and minerals from your diet cause the body to demand that you eat more in an effort to acquire the deficient vitamins and minerals. Determining which vitamins and minerals are missing, e.g. B vitamins, iron, magnesium, etc., and supplementing with them results in the appetite being sated and the cravings for food reducing making it possible to lose weight. In fact, the person will eat less naturally and lose weight automatically.

This is why it's possible to be extremely overweight and not unhealthy: provided your body is receiving all the nutrients it requires your health will be fine. However, if you are overweight and nutritionally deficient you will be ill. Conveniently, it's often poor folk who become nutritionally deficient due to a poor diet growing up and they become fat as a result. This makes it easy for the health fascists to associate obesity with ill-health and not bad nutrition. They cover themselves by telling us all to eat our 5-a-day which is complete bollocks too unless you're a Michelin star chef you're unlikely to buy and eat a wide enough variety of food to give you all the nutrients you need.

Ok, so you read it here first. Do you believe it? Would you believe it? Would you buy a book/pamphlet outlining my diet secret? If so, I'm well on my way to be a millionaire! Sshh!!!!! Don't tell anyone.

Stabledoor said...

As a Doctor I agree with a lot of what you say, but don't accept that all doctors are the same. The ones you should avoid at all costs are the ones that seek election within the BMA, or the ones you hear on the Today program hectoring us about our lifestyles.

The BMA is a left wing trades union - I joined as a student to get the BMJ cheap and resigned when they opposed the market reforms suggested by the Thatcher government. It is run by the worst kind of hectoring po faced eco friendly knit your own yoghurt lefty nanny state assholes

When I get together with my medical school friends we drink a lot, smoke (pretty much all of them) and talk about anything other than work - which used to be fun but now isn't.

You are right that the BMA ran rings round Patricia Hewitt - they couldn't believe their luck when she agreed to their pay demands.

Most of them are a decent bunch - who enjoy treating ill people but have been ground down by endless bureaucracy, tragets and continuous reorganisation

Dick Puddlecote said...

Top post, DK. And it's something that resonates with increasing proportions of the population judging from the comments here and elsewhere. Every new initiative or proposed ban or tax is now routinely met with a chorus of cat-calls from disillusioned members of the public who are just sick of their shit.

I wonder when politicians will begin to notice? (yes, silly question)

Dr Kevin said...

dont label everyone with the same sins.

every profession has its big mouths with sharpe elbows, who, when not feathering their own nests are establishing their power bases and looking after their friends -

even your profession devil

but my wife is a doctor. her hours are 8am to 6pm but she never gets home before 9pm or 10pm as she stays behind to look after her patients. at the moment her renumeration is £27k a year. so sure - she really is a danger and drain on society. to the best of my knowledge my wife is too busy trying to keep seriously ill people alive to lecture them on their obesity or smoking.

though there is some truth in what you wrote - it also needlesly insults large numbers of doctors who are not guilty of the sins you accuse them of

so frankly devil, i think you are being pig ignorant. surely you can realise there is a difference between the self regarding twats that run the BMA and the Lancet and the grunts that do all the donkey work on the wards.

dont generalise devil - target the bad people in a group - dont assume everyone is the same. - after all i might start thinking all bloggers are arseholes. when in fact, only some are.

Anonymous said...

I am a medical student. Most of us drink far more than the government would like. Also we tend to be subject to a lot of left-wing diatribe when learnin about medical ethics. And forced to parrot these views when we give presentations and hand in essays. It's implicit that we all support the NHS, if you don't 1) you're a selfish bastard and 2) you get low marks, so you just learn to say what they want to hear.

As for those at the top, as far as I can tell there are two types: 1) those who do mainly private work, and are rich Tory supporters who don't like tax, but are as authoritarian as anything and hate the poor, and 2) as mentioned by the doctors above, those who love themselves and feel the need to get elected and get into as many newspapers as possible. very rarely there are some genuinely nice old men who feel everyone is taxed too much and recommend a glass of wine a day.

MD MRCP said...

What a load of utter shite - you really are scraping the bottom of the barrel with this tripe

the a&e charge nurse said...

"it's implicit that we all support the NHS, if you don't 1) you're a selfish bastard and 2) you get low marks, so you just learn to say what they want to hear" - can you give an example, med student?

I taught med students (personal development) - all views were tolerated providing they were well argued.

Unless I'm mistaken the basis for medical ethics predates both political correctness and left wing commentariat.

What were you marked down for - it might just be that your essays are as ill informed as your post above?

Simon Jester said...

Tempted as I am to give my usual YAAC to A&E, I find my interest piqued.

So, Mr/Ms Personal Development tutor, can you give us an example of a view that you gave high marks for being well argued, even though you personally disagreed with it?

Manu said...

Awesome post DK - although as has been mentioned already in previous comments, I believe that your ire is actually reserved for the unionists/rent-seekers among the medical profession rather than everyone in it...?

I'd like to think that most 'jobbing' doctors care about their patients rather than politics. Do you feel otherwise?

the a&e charge nurse said...

Yes, Simon, I always marked very favourably when any med student inquired "how to put the lazy, hoity-toity nurses who starve their patients to death back into their proper place".

I'd give them one mark for lazy, two for hoity-toity, and five marks for starving patients to death, since there should always be space for Daily Mail style drivel, rather than meaningful analysis.

Needless to say it is only a small step to conclude that we should get rid of the lot of them (for which I would usually award a whopping 10 points).

john in cheshire said...

For over 3 decades, I have argued to anyone who will listen to me that the NHS should be privatised and National Insurance is replaced by some form of health plan that is open to the individual to choose, or not, as they feel meets their needs. Of course, if you haven't got a health plan; and aren't in a (to be agreed) need category, then you can die for all I care. I still hope I live to see the day when this happens and I won't be paying for all the nice-to-have treatments that others seem to feel are their right.

Simon Jester said...

A&E,

To plagiarize one of my favourite books: 10 out of 10 for style, minus several million out of 10 for an informative answer.

Also, you seem to think I was one of the people posting "Daily Mail style drivel". Re-read the thread, paying particular attention to where I have posted.

tl;dr - You Are A Cunt.

Devil's Kitchen said...

A&E,

Do you deny that lack of nursing care has led to people starving to death in hospital?

To the doctors on this thread that doth protest so much,

So, to clarify, if I were to set up a site which listed doctors who refused to be members of the BMA or other medical trades union, you would be happy to sign up with your name and registration number?

DK

the a&e charge nurse said...

"Do you deny that lack of nursing care has led to people starving to death in hospital?" - Oh, I do not deny that some will starve in hospital, Devil, especially those on NHS wards with 1 filipino nurse tasked with looking after 30 bed bound and demented patients (for the moment we will overlook the growing cohort of morbidly obese patients who require reinforced lifting gear to get them from the bed to a chair).

In any event a % of patients are simply trying to get on with the grim business of dying, and are not best pleased when an agency health care assistant periodically insists on spoon feeding hospital stodge into their protesting mouth.

In fact I have long advocated for a change in name, why can't we abandon the term hospital in favour of 'keeping people alive factories'?

As you know nobody is allowed to die a natural death at home anymore - and even though old Ernie may be demented and ravaged by old age and disease he must still be carted off to hospital (or KPAF) every time he develops a chesty cough so that the very finest pureed mush can be smeared all over his toothless, and grimacing gob?

And if the uncommunicative Ernest slips into the big sleep due to a lack of 'ensure' or liquidised cottage pie we all know who to blame, don't we Devil?

Lola said...

Erm, speaking as someone who the medical bureaucracy nearly killed and who now has to go for open heart surgery - in the NHS - to fix the problem caused by NICE's failure I, like DK, feel pretty bloody disgruntled by the NHS and its medicos.

The really sad thing is that many of clinicians are committed and want to do a good job but are just as trapped by the system as the rest of us. The same is true of education (Mrs Lola is a teacher) where good committed staff are utterly exploited.

The answer is, as DK says, to smash up the various unions and to privatise the whole damn' thing.

But by when? My op. is in October. Oo er.

Anonymous said...

Here in Mexico, you can see a doctor at a retail clinic for as low as $1.60 and up to about $22 for GP's.

A specialist up to about $45. Medicine is cheap and usually without prescription. And all of this is PRIVATE ENTERPRISE--not a govt program.

the a&e charge nurse said...

If Mexico is such a health nirvana why are there reports like this?

"The result is that half of Mexico’s 100 million citizens are uninsured and more than half of the country’s annual health spending is out of pocket. The authors find that incentives in this balkanized system tend to reinforce the entrenchment of its several disjointed sectors, impeding efforts to improve performance. Disparities in access and outcomes—a tenfold difference in infant mortality rates between the poorest parts of the country and the richest, for example—make the U.S. system seem equitable in contrast. The employment-based portion of the Mexican system is particularly problematic, since workers in some sectors of the economy enjoy a hybrid public-private system of coverage, while many others are uninsured and must depend on an uneven system of public clinics. The authors conclude that "comprehensive federal funding of a core package of services across all social groups must be the basis of universal health insurance."
http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/21/3/47.full

Tenfold disparity in infant mortality (comparing rich and poor in Mexico) - sounds great?

blingmun said...

Dr Kevin said...
dont label everyone with the same sins...it also needlesly insults large numbers of doctors who are not guilty of the sins you accuse them of

They're all over paid, fuck em.

blingmun said...

The authors conclude that "comprehensive federal funding of a core package of services across all social groups must be the basis of universal health insurance."

Any cunt who produces a report entitled: "Addressing Inequity In Health And Health Care In Mexico" already knew the conclusion long before doing any research.

Take one of your enemas and use it on yourself before posting.

the a&e charge nrse said...

"Any cunt who produces a report entitled: "Addressing Inequity In Health And Health Care In Mexico" already knew the conclusion long before doing any research" - indeed, we wouldn't want perky researchers portraying Mexico's health nirvana in an unfavourable light, now would we?

By the way, an idea why there is such a huge difference in infant mortality between rich and poor Mexicans?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that market based systems tend to favour those with the deepest pockets - still as long as the poor have the "freedom" to choose between diabolical health care, or no health care at all then all is rosy in Freddy Hayek's garden, eh?

blingmun said...

"as long as the poor have the "freedom" to choose between diabolical health care, or no health care at all then all is rosy in Freddy Hayek's garden, eh?"

You were right to use an enema before posting but wrong to post the discharge here.

Show us where in Hayek's writing he advocates giving the poor a choice between "diabolical health or no health care at all". If you can't do that stop wasting everyone's time.

the a&e charge nurse said...

"Show us where in Hayek's writing he advocates giving the poor a choice between "diabolical health or no health care at all" - oh dear, a concrete thinker.

Mention of the mustachioed Austrian was an oblique reference to those who regard the market as a panacea to our health worries - in fact, neoliberalism is far more likely to result in the sort iniquitous system characterised by infant mortality in Mexico unlike one based on universal access, comprehensiveness, and one that is free at the point of delivery.

A few bossy doctors in the great scheme of things is neither here no there - the legion of fat, nicotine addicted, alcoholics is testament to this self obvious fact.
Not that I have a problem with these groups I mention them simply as proof that the opinions of a minority of doctors has negligible affect on the general population - I'm not really sure why the Devil is getting his knickers in such a twist?

blingmun said...

"the opinions of a minority of doctors has negligible affect on the general population - I'm not really sure why the Devil is getting his knickers in such a twist?"

Probably because this "minority of doctors" is addicted to authoritarianism which presents symptoms including chronic lobbying of government and acute abuse of position in order to advance philosophical opinions under the dishonest guise of scientific reasonableness.

This minority believes that the prevention of smoking is more important than the liberty of someone they've never met to balance risk and reward, enjoyment and wellbeing, short-term gratification and long-term health.....you know the kind of stuff that fills the lives, thoughts, conversations and experiences of people who enjoy political freedom. But who gives a fuck about any of that shit eh?

the a&e charge nurse said...

"But who gives a fuck about any of that shit eh?".

Doctors do - problem is their perception may be distorted by the long term health effects of these pass times (cancer, COPD, heart/circulatory disease, etc).

It may surprise you to learn that one or two smokers or drinkers who are looking down the barrel of gun express the view that they wish they had made different choices when they were younger; that they had perhaps not fully appreciated the addictive nature of smoking (until it was too late).

I'm not saying this justifies the present abstinence mindset amongst medics (personally I think all drugs should be decriminalised) - but it might be a better explanation for paternalism rather than the power crazed motives you ascribe to them.

blingmun said...

"It may surprise you to learn that one or two smokers or drinkers who are looking down the barrel of gun express the view that they wish they had made different choices when they were younger; that they had perhaps not fully appreciated the addictive nature of smoking (until it was too late)."

Doesn't surprise me in the least. But making choices and then reaping rewards or regretting consequences is the very definition of political freedom. No one objects to information campaigns. I would argue that widely disseminated freely available information is one of the most important consequences of individual liberty. So far we're all on the same side.

The problem is that it always goes beyond that. Informing and persuading never seems to be part of the leftist repertoire. Instead it's always compulsion, taxation and rules about how other people should lead their lives.

the a&e charge nurse said...

"Informing and persuading never seems to be part of the leftist repertoire" - that's simply not true.

When the link between smoking and lung cancer first began to emerge it was the tobacco companies, Hayek's children if you like, who put the needs of the market before the effects of a dastardly and back then nearly always incurable disease.

In other words there was a great deal of misinformation about the risks associated with smoking.

I will agree with you to the extent that the left sometimes gets the balance wrong on the liberty - authoritarian axis - but no political system is perfect and despite a tedious bit of hectoring the rates of smoking related lung and heart disease still keep the NHS very busy.

Anonymous said...

the a&e charge nurs

I really don't give a shit how bad healthcare is in Mexico. I'm sorry, but there you go. First time I went there, I spent the next three weeks trying to shit myself inside out.

The NHS is crap. My doctor's have neglected my health all of my life and I've only just discovered the cause of my life long ill-health after more than 40 years of life. I diagnosed myself and had to pay for the tests privately at the cost of thousands of pounds. I want to sue the fuckers but the lawyers and doctors have a nice racket going whereby it's virtually impossible to prove that a doctor has been negligent. They achieve this by the rather curious means of demonstrating that if all other doctors are as shit as the one who failed to diagnose you then he wasn't negligent. WTF? Does the general public realise this? They have virtually no comeback against a doctor unless he's done something so spectacularly stupid that no other doctors would admit to being as stupid as that, in which case you may as well have gone to the barber for a fucking leaching.

I hope they privatise the whole thing and make the private doctors properly liable for the mistakes they make so that we have proper recourse under the law for the fuck ups they perpetrate.

blingmun said...

"the left sometimes gets the balance wrong on the liberty - authoritarian axis"

It is impossible to get this balance wrong if you believe in the sovereignty of the individual. Equally if you do not believe in the sovereignty of the individual then it is impossible to get this balance right.

Chalcedon said...

I was visiting Addenbrooke's today in a professional capacity. I noticed a notice affixed to the wall to the right of the main entrance (heading for the coffee shop and the wonderful artery obliterating all day breakfast)which said:

"Second Hand Smoke Kills"

What utter bollocks says I to my little group. No clinical study has shown second hand smoke has any health effect and certainly not that it kills people.

Addenbrooke's is a renowned teaching hospital and a tertiary centre for East Anglia. Part of the University of Cambridge teachning hospital trust. FFS!!!!