May 11, 2006

Ugly Consequences of Nationalized Medicine — Part 2 of 4

Filed under: Consumer Outrage,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:10 am

The government, disguised as a hospital’s administration, can move you up or down the waiting list, depending on your political views and actions.

From Life News:

A British hospital is refusing to provide medical treatment to a pro-life advocate who was recently jailed because he mailed graphic abortion pictures to the hospital. Edward Atkinson, who is 74, mailed the graphic abortion pictures to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and some of its staff.

Now, QEH has decided that it will take him off of a waiting list for a hip replacement surgery. The hospital has also banned Atkinson from receiving any medical treatment other than care for something life-threatening.

QEH chief executive Ruth May, who testified against Atkinson in court which ultimately led to the jail sentence, told EDP News in the UK that, “We take such matters extremely seriously and because he continued to send extremely graphic material to us we exercised our right to decline treatment to him.”

But the decision is drawing criticism from pro-life groups and lawmakers.

Henry Bellingham, a member of Parliament from Norfolk, told EDP he would be meeting with hospital officials to discuss its decision.

Bellingham said Atkinson was “out of order” to send the graphic abortion pictures to the hospital but added that QEH’s reaction of withholding medical treatment was a wrong response.

“I don’t believe anyone should have treatment withdrawn, whatever they have done. Whatever the hospital may feel about him, everybody should be treated the same,” the MP said.

Meanwhile, the pro-life group LifeLeague issued a statement responding to the QEH decision.

“This is morality turned upside down,” the group said. “Regardless of one’s views on abortion, it is outrageous that the hospital should persecute him and strike him off the waiting list.”

If a hospital did this in the US, the patient would simply choose another hospital. Since waiting lists are brief to non-existent, the inconvenience to the patient in doing this would be minimal. The politcally-correct hospital would be out the money it would have received from the procedure, and might possibly reconsider its stance in that light.

No such constraints affect hospitals in nationalized healthcare systems. They can be as arbitrary as they wish, subject only to the whims of public pressure.

No thanks.
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UPDATE: The Hospital is clearly digging in:

A British hospital that is refusing to provide medical treatment to a pro-life advocate is defending its decision because he kept sending the hospital graphic abortion pictures. Meanwhile, a member of Parliament says if the man apologies the hospital may reconsider its decision.

Edward Atkinson, who is 74, was recently jailed for two weeks for repeatedly sending graphic abortion pictures to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and some of its staff.

QEH responded by taking Atkinson off a waiting list for a hip surgery and banned him from receiving any medical treatment other than care for something life-threatening.

QEH chief executive Ruth May defended the decision in an interview with Lynn News.

“Our legal advisers were consulted and their opinion was that this man’s actions contravened the NHS Zero Tolerance policy in cases of abuse or unacceptable behavior towards our staff,” she said.

Puh-leeze. Even if it violates Zero Tolerance (which I don’t concede), withholding medical treatment is also “unacceptable behavior.” Imagine the outcry if medical treatment were withheld from prisoners, even violent ones.

UPDATE: Taranto reax at Best of the Web: “Why do the same people who don’t trust the government to spy on terrorists, lest dissenters get caught up in the web, so often also urge giving government control over our health care?”
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Other posts:

  • Part 1 (April 9) — “An Inevitability: Withholding of Care in ‘Hard’ Cases”
  • Part 3 — “To Save Money, They Define ‘Emergencies’ Down”
  • Part 4 — “Canadian docs are coming to the US”
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2 Comments

  1. Given Vic Wulsin’s comments in today’s Clermont Community Press regarding Health Care as the critical issue in the 2nd district(which btw I do not necessarily share), I hope she takes notice of this entry!!

    Comment by Jon — May 11, 2006 @ 11:50 am

  2. Kind of like public schools, hmmmm.

    Comment by dave — May 11, 2006 @ 1:53 pm

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