Saturday, September 15, 2007

Another Example of Universal Health Care

Daily Mail reported A man with a broken ankle is facing a lifetime of pain because a Health Service hospital has refused to treat him unless he gives up smoking.
If the Nanny State controls your health care, watch out.
John Nuttall, 57, needs surgery to set the ankle which he broke in three places two years ago because it did not mend naturally with a plaster cast. Doctors at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro have refused to operate because they say his heavy smoking would reduce the chance of healing, and there is a risk of complications which could lead to amputation.
Tell him the risk and see if he still wants the surgery.
They have told him they will treat him only if he gives up smoking. But the former builder has been unable to break his habit and is now resigned to coping with the injury as he cannot afford private treatment.
At least he has the option of private pay. With a single payer universal health care system like Canada, his only option would be to come to the US.
He is in constant pain from the grating of the broken bones against each other and has been prescribed daily doses of morphine.
What are the risks of that: addiction, resperatory problems, constipation, etc.
Mr Nuttall, of Newlyn, Cornwall, broke the ankle in a fall in 2005. Initially he refused surgery because he had caught MRSA at a different hospital four years earlier, and was terrified of history repeating itself.
Maybe the doctors are insulted he refused surgery earlier, but I have gotten MRSA in a hospital, and it is no fun.
He hoped the fractured bones would knit together with a standard plaster cast to immobilise his ankle. But six months and three plaster casts later, it became clear that an operation to pin the bones was the only solution.

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