From Breitbart UK:
A Conservative Member of Parliament has called for the NHS to be reformed by introducing charges for those who lead “unhealthy lifestyles” by drinking too much, eating junk food or leading promiscuous lives.Dr Philip Lee MP, a practicing GP, has said that there is consensus between the Tories and Labour on the NHS, but that changes would have to be made to meet growing demand…
“We all make choices in life and long may we be free to do so: what we eat, what we drink and how much we exercise. But many of these decisions can adversely affect our health. For example, consuming convenience foods which are high in fat and salt, leading sexually promiscuous private lives, drinking too much alcohol or using illicit drugs.
“Such choices often increase the cost of our health care. I believe that individuals who knowingly make unhealthy choices should meet at least part of this cost.”
Nothing about smoking. But maybe that no longer even needs to be mentioned.
But how do they know whether or not you’re living an “unhealthy lifestyle”? As far as I can see, the only way is for doctors to ask lots of intrusive questions. Like:
How many cigarettes do you smoke daily?
How many units of alcohol do you drink daily?
How many burgers, pizzas, [long list of convenience foods] do you consume daily?
How often do you use [long list of illicit drugs] daily?
How often do you exercise daily?
How often do you have sex daily?
Is that with your legal partner?
What kind of sex do you have?
Really?? There’s a law against that sort of thing you know!
It reminds me of nothing so much as Going To Confession as a Roman Catholic boy. But the confessional, back then, was a box with a screen between the penitent and the Confessor. He had no idea who you were. And at the end you were granted Absolution: your sins were forgiven. And he wouldn’t tell anyone what you’d told him.
The new confessional will have no screen. The Confessor will know exactly who you are, and will be sitting in front of you staring unforgivingly into your eyes. And at the end of the Confession, he won’t grant Absolution: he’ll instead levy a charge on you in proportion to your sinfulness. And far from not telling anyone, he’ll be busy typing it all into an NHS datafile which almost anybody can read (except you).
And who’s to say that questions might not become even more intrusive or irrelevant?
How long do you spend watching TV daily?
Do you gamble?
Are you or have you ever been a gardener?
What party did you vote for at the last election?
But is there a legal requirement for patients to tell their doctors the truth about their habits? In the absence of swearing an oath to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”, I can’t see that there is.
So what’s to stop people telling a pack of lies? Nothing at all.
And anyway, does anyone ever really know the truth about their own habits? I have no idea how many cigarettes I smoke daily, because I don’t count. I tried counting once, but gave up, because a) the act of counting affected how much I smoked, and b) I soon lost count anyway. And by the same token I have no idea how much I drink or eat, because I don’t count those either. In fact, I count very few things I do. I don’t even count how much money I spend daily.
So even if people swear to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”, they’ll still end up coming up with invented imaginary numbers. Because they don’t count either, and so don’t know.
But apart from all that, I’d object to being subjected to such an examination because I have no faith whatsoever in “lifestyle medicine”. I think it’s all complete baloney. I don’t think it really matters a damn how much anyone smokes or drinks or eats, any more than it matters a damn whether they gamble, watch TV, or scratch their chins. “Lifestyle medicine” is a form of astrology in which smoking, drinking, diet, exercise, sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll, have replaced the planets and the signs of the zodiac as subtle influences exerted upon a person. Both claim to see into the distant future. A smoking habit will bring an early death just as certainly as Mars in opposition with Venus and Jupiter. Or just as uncertainly.
And anyway, the state has no business trying to get people to live these stupid “healthy lifestyles”, even if “lifestyle medicine” is based upon genuine science (which of course it isn’t).
Anyway, I didn’t manage to post anything last night because after downloading Microsoft Expression to capture videos, I was fighting with YouTube trying to post a video on it. In the end I gave up, and used Vimeo instead. I’d been using my bubble model of the atmosphere as a model of a pool of water. I was wondering whether I could get a ball to float on the water if it was light enough, and to sink to the bottom if it was heavy enough, and to rise to the surface again if it became lighter again.
As you can see, it worked. I have a little submarine.