Eugenics Never Went Away

Via Audrey Silk, Daily Mail:

Smokers face breath tests before surgery: Patients will have to prove they have quit before being referred for an operation

Obese patients to be told they cannot have an operation unless they lose weight 

The drastic policies are being rolled out in two health trusts in Hertfordshire

First time a health trust has asked patients to prove they have given up smoking

Smokers are to be breathalysed to prove they have quit before being referred for surgery.

Obese patients will also be told they cannot have an operation unless they lose weight.

The drastic policies are being rolled out in two health trusts, which serve 1.2million people.

Patients who smoke will be breathalysed to check they have given up before being referred, while those who are obese must lose 10 per cent of their weight.

Doctors claimed it was the latest example of rationing which is becoming ‘more commonplace’ across the NHS. The two trusts, East and North Hertfordshire and Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Groups, are trying to save £68 million this year.

Any patient who is obese – with a body mass index above 30 – will have to shed at least 10 per cent of their body weight before being referred for non-urgent surgery.

Under the proposals, which were uncovered by the Health Service Journal, smokers must quit completely and doctors won’t just take their word on it. They will be breathalysed to monitor levels of carbon monoxide in blood, to ensure they are telling the truth.

A spokesman for the Clinical Commissioning Groups said patients who hadn’t reformed their lifestyles would only be referred in urgent cases.

It’s just smokers and well-fed people who’re being singled out in this latest example of health fascism. But who’s next? Drinkers are a pretty obvious target. Illegal (i.e. non-pharma) drug users too. Thin people (who will have to put on weight rather than shed weight). People who don’t get enough exercise (insufficient body/muscle mass ratio) will be required to build up muscle.

And why not measure other attributes, like IQ, or sexual orientation or voting preference? I’m sure that studies can be done to show that well-fed Conservative voters tend to be more obese than underfed Socialists. Correlation is causation, of course. So you only get surgical treatment if you stop voting Conservative, and provide evidence of having done so.

It’s eugenics – or Nazi racial science – with a new twist. Instead of measuring the lengths and curvature of people’s noses, you measure any number of other things (carbon dioxide content) and use these various measures to grade people as being ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’, and only select for surgery (or treatment) those that make the grade. So the ‘unhealthy’ who get no treatment will tend to die off quicker than ‘healthy’ who get treatment (assuming the treatment works). That way you create a population of ideal, ‘fit’, ‘healthy’ people, by gradually weeding out all those deemed non-ideal, ‘unfit’ and ‘unhealthy’ just like you create ideal cows and sheep and horses by only allowing ideal ones to live and reproduce. In this manner, you ‘reform’ humanity.

They don’t call it eugenics, of course. It’s now known as Public Health. But it’s essentially the same ideology: directed evolution. You decide what you want people to be like, and you direct them there.

Eugenics never went away. It just changed its name, and retreated for a while into the shadows inside universities and the medical profession. And now it’s back in force.

Audrey Silk’s comment on it was:

This is the sh*t that happens when single payer health care meets Big Anti-Smoker.

I’m not sure if the NHS is “single payer health care”. It’s funded by taxation rather than health insurance. It’s a government service that’s provided for everybody, much like education and roads. I’ve only ever bought medical insurance when I’ve gone on holiday abroad somewhere. I had a private education paid for by my parents, but if I hadn’t I would have got a state education which wouldn’t have been quite as good. According to Google:

Single-payer national health insurance, also known as “Medicare for all,” is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health care financing, but the delivery of care remains largely in private hands.

Hmmm. As best I understand the UK healthcare system, it’s the government that finances the NHS, probably through the Ministry of Health. The NHS simply organises the delivery of care in hospitals and drug prescriptions. GPs – general practitioners – are (or were) very often private practitioners who work as doctors in the community, prescribing drugs and referring patients to hospitals as necessary.

Is that about right?

Whichever way it’s organised, once there’s a single healthcare provider, with no competition allowed, there’s scope for the sort  of health fascism we’re now seeing. You either do as you’re told, or you don’t get medical treatment.

About Frank Davis

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18 Responses to Eugenics Never Went Away

  1. Roobeedoo2 says:

    Sorry OT, Frank but news out today about the release of unseen JFK assassination documentation:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-21/trump-allow-release-3000-never-seen-documents-jfk-assassination

  2. Jack Ketch says:

    One wonders if they include vaping under ‘smoking’ ? Infact I’m wondering how much use a breathalyser is at all for detecting when someone last had a cigarette….perhaps those of us who understand the science thing could explain?

    • Rose says:

      They test for the amount of exhaled carbon monoxide in your breath.

      Fury at smoking breath test for all mothers-to-be as it is revealed one in three still light up during pregnancy
      12 May 2013

      “In proposals due to come into force this year, midwives will be told to test mothers’ carbon monoxide levels at their first antenatal appointment.
      This will reveal if they are being honest about whether they smoke, with those found to have high readings given ‘appropriate support’ on how to quit.”
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2323252/Fury-smoking-breath-test-mothers-revealed-light-pregnancy.html

      Testing for Carbon Monoxide in exhaled breath

      “In short, CO is not accurate in detecting overnight abstainers, only in detecting quitters not smoking for at least 24 hours.”
      http://www.healthnz.co.nz/CObreath.htm

      • Manfred says:

        “23% of smokers had breath carbon monoxide concentrations in the [non-smokers] range 1–6 ppm.” (Cunnington and Hormbrey 2002)

        “Our data suggest that in smokers it is very difficult to assign a maximum normal value [of CO – carbon monoxide] since this will depend on how many and what type of cigarettes they smoke, how recently they have smoked, how deeply they inhale, and what they have been doing since smoking.” (Coburn et al. 1965)

        • beobrigitte says:

          “23% of smokers had breath carbon monoxide concentrations in the [non-smokers] range 1–6 ppm.” (Cunnington and Hormbrey 2002)
          I do have some serious problems with this.
          To obtain a fairly accurate result of CO you need to measure the CO locked into the haemoglobin molecules in the red blood cells and therefore a blood test is required. The result will be the percentage (!) of x amount of red cells analysed.

          The antis problem with that is it is an invasive investigation (causing bodily injury) and if the patient is forced or coerced to have this test, the patient has a legal case.
          Also, any form of coercion opens a legal can of worms.

  3. Vlad says:

    I was looking at this video which must be from around ’86 or ’87…https://archive.org/details/tobacco_iww27a00
    at 4.50 mark it mentions Cardinal Industries whose recently introduced policy was to only hire non smokers (anyone considered for employment may be required to take a physical exam and drug test). An asshole from the company says that part of the benefits of this policy had been higher efficiency because smokers take more days off due to ill health. The company had become so efficient that it filed for bankruptcy in 1989 :))))))) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardinal_Industries,_Inc.

  4. Manfred says:

    Lethal totalitarian bureaucrats come with a public health warning, they manifest an insatiable, irresistible urge to regulate infinitely. One answer apart from the obvious resort of treating them as they treat others … demand a refund for all the tax stolen from smokers and use this to provide private health insurance to smokers. Win win. NHS Trusts freed up to provide services to the remainder of people that fit the strangling societal focus of their selection criteria.

    • Manfred says:

      …which leads me to the thought … on the basis of taxation, does the government have a contractual obligation to provide health services?

  5. waltc says:

    Afaik, ‘single payer” just means that the govt is the single entity that pays for health care, as opposed to some combo of insurance company and patient in a “free market.” But the govt gets the money to pay for it through taxation, as it would here if “single payer” were introduced. Noy btw, Medicare (for retireees) is paid for lifelong with automatic payroll deductions and after retirement, ongoing premiums are deducted from social security payments on an upward-sliding scale based on the retirees” income.

  6. waltc says:

    This idea of denying care to smokers isn’t new as we know. Here’s a bmj take on it from 2007 with 3 pages of comments, many from doctors vigorously opposing the idea. (I note I was in there with a comment Too)

    http://www.bmj.com/content/334/7583/20/rapid-responses

    • Manfred says:

      Thanks for the heads up Walt. Excellent comment. Having read all the comments one can’t help but reflect on how the collective turns itself inside out over what must be one of the most demonzied subjects in contemporary social history, even the old shaggy dog, second hand smoke made a guest appearance, even though disproved to have any significant deleterious effect in the study by Enstrom and Kabat (BMJ 2003):

      Results For participants followed from 1960 until 1998 the age adjusted relative risk (95% confidence interval) for never smokers married to ever smokers compared with never smokers married to never smokers was 0.94 (0.85 to 1.05) for coronary heart disease, 0.75 (0.42 to 1.35) for lung cancer, and 1.27 (0.78 to 2.08) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among 9619 men, and 1.01 (0.94 to 1.08), 0.99 (0.72 to 1.37), and 1.13 (0.80 to 1.58), respectively, among 25 942 women. No significant associations were found for current or former exposure to environmental tobacco smoke before or after adjusting for seven confounders and before or after excluding participants with pre-existing disease. No significant associations were found during the shorter follow up periods of 1960-5, 1966-72, 1973-85, and 1973-98.
      Conclusions The results do not support a causal relation between environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality, although they do not rule out a small effect. The association between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and coronary heart disease and lung cancer may be considerably weaker than generally believed.

      I am given to thinking that as medical error is the third leading cause of death in the US (Makary and Daniel 2016, BMJ 2016;353:i2139 doi: 10.1136/bmj.i2139) tit is high time to perhaps consider that there should be profound consequences for miscreants. If you fight with the sword, expect to die by it. Anyone for stocks?

      • beobrigitte says:

        Unfortunately the BMA article is 10 years old and the subject has come back with vengeance.
        Enstrom and Kabat’s paper from 2003 will by now be irrelevant. And so will be many others.

        I am given to thinking that as medical error is the third leading cause of death in the US (Makary and Daniel 2016, BMJ 2016;353:i2139 doi: 10.1136/bmj.i2139) tit is high time to perhaps consider that there should be profound consequences for miscreants.
        This is a huge can of worms to open.

  7. Rose says:

    Excellent series of posts on Eugenics by Magnetic, that I just found while looking for something else.

    Magnetic
    June 23, 2011
    https://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/the-nazi-antismoking-legacy-1/#comment-20601

  8. Pat Nurse says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05hg8y5 I was on BBC 3 counties today about this. At about 33.14 in if you want to listen again. I didn’t hear all the reactions but most seem against it.

  9. Supergran says:

    Blonde haired, blue eyed Aryan race all over again eh?

  10. I’m an MD myself. While there is no question that they ration care in the UK, being obese and smoking can lead to Bad outcomes in Surgery. It also can lead to futility. Case in point-many smokers need leg bypass surgery to save their limbs. This is common in those who have Diabetes or smoke, or especially Both of the above. But-if they continue to smoke, the grafts will clog up. That’s a waste of money. Obesity is a Catch-22 as well. The severely obese can be saved by Gastric Bypass surgery, but often are too sick to survive being operated on (especially if they have COPD from smoking.) I saw a patient the other day who has had heart attacks, and still smokes. “I have heart attacks because my Dad had heart attacks when he was young.” But-if you have genes like that, it’s Doubly important to quit.

    • beobrigitte says:

      While there is no question that they ration care in the UK, being obese and smoking can lead to Bad outcomes in Surgery.
      CAN lead? DOES it or DOES it NOT??

      It also can lead to futility. Case in point-many smokers need leg bypass surgery to save their limbs.
      Many non-smokers/never smokers need leg bypass surgery to save their limbs, too. What about people suffering from coagulation disorders e.g. Factor V Leiden etc, irrespective of smoking status?

      But-if they continue to smoke, the grafts will clog up.
      For everyone?

      The severely obese can be saved by Gastric Bypass surgery, but often are too sick to survive being operated on (especially if they have COPD from smoking.)
      For the severely obese gastric bypass surgery is only effective when prior to surgery/post surgery the reason(s), be it psychological or for overeating are addressed.

      (especially if they have COPD from smoking.)
      The ONLY cause of COPD is smoking? Does the name “Henrietta Lacks” mean something or are you unquestioningly following what you are being told to follow?

      Your lack of empathy is striking.

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