Patients Are Deterred

I’ve been musing today over the response to the poll I posted up a couple of days back, asking whether readers accessed medical services more often or less often since the Global War on Smokers began. With some 99 responses so far, the results are that one quarter uses medical services about as much as before, one quarter uses them less, and nearly a half much less.

I was a bit surprised. I’d certainly expected there’d be less. But I expected most people would be using medical services about the same or a bit less than before, with only a few outsiders like me using them much less.

Instead, nearly 75% of my readers are accessing them less or much less.

I expect most of my readers are smokers. But is it just smokers who’re staying away? It could equally well be drinkers and tubbies. They’re all under the cosh, after all. They’re all officially disapproved of. They’re all being told that their lifestyles are to blame for all their maladies. They’re all being lectured and blackmailed and bullied.

And if they don’t fall into any of the officially disapproved categories, they may well hate the way other people are being treated, and fear that they too will soon be equally abused in their turn.

It can’t be a good thing. People used to trust their doctors implicitly, but now it seems that trust is being replaced by distrust, and perhaps even by fear.

I often think that, with the decline of religion, the medical profession has stepped in to take over national moral leadership. It’s no longer some fiery preacher in a chapel telling his parishioners that they’re all sinners, and facing perpetual damnation. No, now it’s fiery doctors and dentists that are telling them that they’re all sinners, and facing the early deaths that they so richly deserve.

And if the churches and chapels emptied, it was perhaps because people just got sick of being told how sinful they all were. And now the same has happening with the medical profession that took over moral leadership from the churches.

What can reasonably be expected to happen when people stop seeing doctors? Or only go and see them in a dire emergency? It’ll almost certainly mean that when they do show up in front of a doctor, it’ll very often be too late to save them. So there must be rising numbers of terminal cancer cases showing up in hospitals. And terminal cases of every other disease as well.

I know that if I got, say, Ebola, I’d just try and shrug it off as a nasty case of cold or flu. I would strongly resist visiting any doctor until it became impossible not to. And the same would go for any other infectious disease. Which means that in a doctor-distrusting society, infectious diseases are much more likely to gain a foothold than in ones in which the medical profession is highly trusted. So we can expect more epidemics.

Yet there’s no sign whatsoever that there’s any alarm in the medical profession about the deepening distrust and disbelief in which they’re held. The clergy in their empty churches are well used to it, of course. And the political class is well aware that the same is happening to them. But the doctors are all still marching around bellowing orders to everyone: they don’t seem to have realised that fewer and fewer people are listening any more.

And in the event of a real medical emergency (not the fraudulent smoking/drinking/obesity “epidemics”) there’ll probably be desperate appeals for people to come in for blood tests or mouth swabs or inoculations, which will all fall on long-deaf ears. And the modern medical profession will discover too late that the trust and faith and belief of their customers underpins everything they do, and when it’s gone it’s nearly impossible to win back.

P.S. Joe Jackson occasionally posts comments here, so I’m more than happy to draw attention to his current tour:



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28 Responses to Patients Are Deterred

  1. Nell B says:

    I’m not at all surprised. Having a cynical nature and with a fair grasp of all things pharmaceutical, I’ve never trusted GPs as far as I could throw them! Check every drug they give you for interactions, side effects and dose. I’ve known at least 5 ‘mistakes’ which could have been life threatening!
    Doctors who probably drink/smoke telling you not to, fat nurses telling you to lose weight. Don’t get me wrong – they they have every right to drink/smoke/eat what they choose, just don’t lecture everyone else!

    I wonder if your figures are one of the reasons A&E attendance is up (if the figures are right, I must admit, I haven’t checked)? More people leaving problems ’til they are serious/an emergency and heading straight there – ok, waiting time could be extremely long, but it’s warm and you’re in the right place should things get ‘nasty’. Lets face it, by the time an out of hours GP turns up, decides you may need to go to hospital – if they get the diagnosis right, an ambulance arrives (hopefully), it’s probably taken longer than your A&E wait.

    I’ve always phoned A&E first – they’ve always been fantastic, once for me, three times for my mum. Each time asking for symptoms and telling me to come straight down. Junior doctors still in training are the best. Enthusiastic, even if they are a bit weary and if they’re not sure they look it up or ask. And they don’t have much time to lecture!

    The only good thing about all the rubbish coming out about alcohol/sugar/ecigs is that more and more people are starting to see the ‘ban everything’ crowd in their true light and they are starting to look a little desperate!

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Next up the second hand smoke monster under childrens beds waiting to snatch them if they get out of bed.

  3. magnetic01 says:

    Patients are deterred

    The stigmatizing of smoking by the medical establishment can/does marginalize smokers; illness must reach an overwhelming level before some smokers will attend a physician. Respiratory infections, for example, may not be properly treated and which may eventually have a cumulative effect on age-specific mortality. This circumstance is iatrogenic and not due to the causal effects of smoking. Further, some physicians may harbor such an acute antismoking fixation that their medical treatment of smokers is substandard. Any detrimental outcome from substandard care is also iatrogenic.

    If smokers are deterred in seeking medical treatment or if they are given substandard care, this will most probably be reflected in an increasing differential in disease/mortality statistics between smokers/nonsmokers. The medical establishment, which has created the problem to begin with, will then attribute this increasing differential to the further causal effects of smoking. This will in turn further feed the antismoking fanaticism that began the problem. This is a “closed iatrogenic loop” and is a very serious situation. The problem concerning smoking is institutionalized bigotry. So there is nothing within the medical establishment at this time that can recognize the problem let alone correct it.

    Further, the contemporary medical establishment or, rather, the medical industrial complex, is highly controlled by the administration/bureaucracy. Medicos not toeing or questioning the official line will find themselves targeted. The doctor/patient relationship, individualized care, has taken a pounding and where medicos have been turned into servants of the bureaucracy/State. An article worth reading:

    • Frank Davis says:

      The medical establishment, which has created the problem to begin with, will then attribute this increasing differential to the further causal effects of smoking.

      Of course!

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    Lmao the dogs were all out back barking there heads off at a stupid donkey at the fence and even trying to jump the fence. I shot my 44-40 into the ground and instant silence and 3 dogs flying thru the doggy door into their beds………..peace tranquility

  6. waltc says:

    I agree with all your explanations for Less and Much Less for smokers but add these, which would also apply to thin, teetotaling vegetarian nonsmokers:

    in the US, because of the increasing bureaucratization of medicine, and the coup de grace of Obamacare, a lot of good old-time docs have quit the trade, forcing their longtime patients to see new docs who don’t know them as people and don’t care to. The new breed is impersonal, rushed, spends more time looking at their computer screens than looking their patients in the eye, believes every health fad they read in the journals or the New York Times, and tends to hurriedly prescribe one-fits-all drugs or procedures whether or they actually fit.

    On the other end of it (the patient’s end) Obamacare has also forced patients to leave their longtime trusted doctors who are now “out of network.” Then too, with its high insurance deductibles, the unreimbursed doctor visits are too expensive especially since, I’m told, the “in network” docs are so overloaded that after keeping the patient waiting for a hour, they allot him at most 15 minutes whether he’s come in with a cold or Ebola or the first unnoticed symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

    This is modern “progressive” medicine and I think it’s here to stay. And more people will die from it.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I think it’s here to stay.

      Well it’s certainly here. But I very much doubt that it will stay very long. No society can afford liabilities like this for very long.

  7. I think another reason is that people use the Internet instead of the doctor. They arrive at the doctor and say, “I’ve just come so you can confirm MY diagnosis!” I have done that on several occasions. I like it when the power in MINE.

    Also, doctors (NHS Best Practise) prescribe according to instructions and payment. There is no personal thought any more – no real knowledge. Robot doctors don’t inspire confidence. And Medical Science as practised according to instructions, means that old fashioned ideas – like Statins are good for you, or that diabetics should be on low fat diets supplemented with carbohydrates – stick in the system long after ordinary intelligent people have realised they are wrong.

    I really enjoyed your post, and agreed with every word!

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank your gonna love this one!

    Abuse Has Left 36 MPs Afraid To Go Out In Public

    MPs must be given greater protection from the public, it has been claimed, after a study found four out of five respondents had been victims of intrusive or aggressive behaviour. Abuse has left 36

    MPs must be given greater protection from the public, it has been claimed, after a study found four out of five respondents had been victims of intrusive or aggressive behaviour.

    Abuse has left 36 politicians afraid to go out in public, put marriages under strain and led to some being treated for depression and anxiety, experts found.

    Researchers reported that 192 MPs who had experienced problems half had been targeted in their own homes

    Business Secretary Lord Mandelson after a cup of green custard was thrown over him by environmentalist Leila Deen

    The report states: “One MP described how his marriage was close to breakdown, as his wife blamed him for the persistent amorous intrusions of a female constituent.”

    Labour MP Stephen Timms , who was stabbed twice in the stomach in 2010 by a woman who tried to murder him for voting for the Iraq war, suggested it would be difficult to ramp up security.

    He told The Observer. “After what happened to me I was offered a knife arch for my surgeries, but I refused because that just makes it more difficult for people to come and see you.

    “It isn’t the MP I want to be.”

    Some 239 MPs took part in the survey and 43 said they had been subject to attack or attempted attacks, 101 said they had received threats to harm them and 52 had faced threats of property damage.

    The research was carried out by seven psychiatrists, including Dr David James, founder of the Fixated Threat Assessment Centre (FTAC) that assesses threats for high profile figures such as the royal family, and was published in the Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology.

    Comments from the MPs who took part included: “Pulled a knife on me in the surgery”; “repeatedly punched me in the face”; “came at me with a hammer”; “hit with a brick”; “shot with air rifle”.

    The statements continued: “There were numerous reports of death threats, both in person and by mail, and of bomb threats”, ”you’d better keep an eye on your children”; “threat to kill me by telephone at home – call taken by my seven-year-old daughter”, “wife received phone calls saying ‘I am going to kill you or one of your family'”, “petrol poured through letter box”.

    The Metropolitan Police run the FTAC alongside the Department of Health, with the Home Office sharing its funding. The report was commissioned independently of the Home Office, a spokeswoman said.

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Abuse has left 36 politicians afraid to go out in public, put marriages under strain and led to some being treated for depression and anxiety, experts found.

    Try being a damned smoker and risk arrest and imprisonment for doing something you always did.
    Its about time these NAZIS were freeking attacked and beaten down by a growing mob of REAL VICTIMS to the MPs Insane Laws and edicts…………

  10. nisakiman says:

    Grandad just posted this link on his Headrambles blog:

    HSE apologise after mum believed death of newborn at Portlaoise was her fault

    …HSE witnesses stated the cause of the baby boy’s death was chronic utero placental insufficiency and, and as a result, Dylan’s mother thought she was responsible because she had smoked during her pregnancy.

    So here we have a situation where the hospital fucked up badly, and rather than take the blame, let this poor woman believe that her child died because she smoked during pregnancy.

    This must be the nadir of the anti-smoking drive from the medical profession. They obviously quite cynically planted the idea in her mind that smoking was what caused her child to die.

    Is it possible for them to sink any lower?

    • smokingscot says:

      Is it possible for them to sink any lower?

      I assume you extract the Michael dear chap. They have NO limit whatsoever on how low they can go. NONE.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Sids is caused by low serotonin levels in babies not tobacco smoke!

      Study: Babies’ low serotonin levels cause SIDS – USATODAY

      Feb 2, 2010 – Sudden infant death syndrome researchers say low serotonin may be what prevents infants from waking up when they inhale too much carbon …

  11. dear frank, i am a advid reader of your blog. i am constantly amazed at how desperate t.c. is getting. could it be the snake-oil salesmen are seeing themselves found out after all this time? i surely hope so as i am for one tired of the constant hectoring i endure just because i like a smoke every now and then?good on you and harley. the fight is going nowhere any time soon. yours sincrely ray barfoot

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      the fight is going nowhere any time soon

      Actually the TC Nazis are on the defensive they gave open battle some 3 years back. Oh a few still try and fly the propaganda but they are easily brushed aside. They almost openly depend on stacking councils with their own political cronies or go after places where they already are to get another insanity passed so they can use that to try and push places elsewhere for the same crap. But mostly they’ve lost the internet battle some 4 years ago. Whats left is simply a regime change in politics and from the looks of things that pendellum is swinging big time away from the nannystate.

  12. beobrigitte says:

    I expect most of my readers are smokers. But is it just smokers who’re staying away?
    Not really. I do have non-smoking friends who find it appalling to be asked: “Do you smoke?” when their ailments which required them to attend a surgery clearly was a ?torn ligament. But firstly it is the lack of availability of a GP these days. “Come in three weeks” just is not good enough.
    GPs opted out of “on call”. They wanted a 9 – 5 job.
    However, GPs did not opt out of pestering their list of patients with the anti-smoking nonsense. And since it is muuuuuuch quicker and profitable to deal with “Health MOTs” (for the healthy people scared by propaganda) the REALLY ill patients have to wait…

    A lot of appointments are being taken up by people who are perfectly fine but being potential Statin etc. customers…..

    If I’d phone my surgery and told them that I would like to give up smoking I would get an appointment the next day. However, if I had another tendinitis/flu/gastritis etc, I’d have to wait 3 weeks…..

    People have lost confidence…. Smokers more so.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      They get paid extra bucks to ask the tobacco harassment question and then report to the Nazis the so called answers to be spun into more propaganda.

  13. Pingback: Both Patient and Doctor | Frank Davis

  14. Interesting post. I didn’t see your poll, but it’s comforting to know I’m not alone. I wouldn’t say I’m distrustful of the health industry, exactly. I’d be more inclined to say I feel absolute contempt toward it.

    The reason I’m commenting, however, is that I would like to mention a personal experience. I was hospitalized once for being suicidal. Because they wouldn’t allow me to smoke in the hospital, I wasn’t able to focus on my mental health, and they were not able to provide me with any substantive help at all. It’s not so much that I can’t go for a few days without a cigarette, it’s that the seething resentment I feel gets in the way of whatever they’re trying to do for me. In my opinion, this attitude toward smokers is especially detrimental to the mental health industry. How can that industry expect to help people with their immediate problems if they’re focusing on keeping their patients from smoking instead? I know that I would never seek help that way again.

    In fact, while I might go to the doctor for short-term care—I still mostly trust doctors to do things like set broken bones and suture bleeding wounds—if I ever need hospitalization again, it probably is going to kill me.

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